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New map globally positions species.

AIMING TO PINPOINT the whereabouts of the planet's animal and plant kingdoms, the Map of Life presents a rich and practical field guide to worldwide populations of different species. The project, headed by Yale professor Walter Jetz, was launched as a beta website in May with regional inventories of about 25,000 of Earth's 1.9 million known species.


Similar in concept to the Encyclopedia of Life (a much denser research database that was launched in 2008), the Map of Life's eventual goal is to chart the physical location of every species using field observation records, species range maps and data from organizations, such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature, World Wildlife Fund and Global Biodiversity Information Facility. For example, a search within a 50-km radius of the Alternatives office in Kitchener, Ontario, produces a list of more than 200 bird species, 97 types of freshwater fish, 48 different mammals, 18 amphibians and 11 reptiles.

Aside from becoming an invaluable resource for impact studies, the project's goal is to "support our community in understanding and saving the world's biodiversity." Eventually the Map of Life will describe both existing and projected species distribution, incorporate data sets from community members and provide a range of content filtering options.

Naturally, a mobile app is also in the works, which will generate a list of local species based on the user's location. In the meantime, the project welcomes feedback on usability, potential resources and bugs (the operational kind).

     Search         Specles Lists  Legend        Dashboard  LC

map  Pcdaymbus      Pied-Billec    Podicpedidae         26  LC
     podiceps       Grebe

Map  Ardea          Great Blue     Ardeidae             25  LC
     herodias       Heron

map  Botaurus       American       Ardeidae             25  LC
     lentinginosus  Bittern

map  Butulcus ibis  Ceate Egret    Ardeidae             25  LC

map  Casmecodius    Great Egret    Ardeidae             25  LC

map  Ixobrychus     Least Bittern  Ardeidae             25  LC

map  Nycticorax     Black-Crowned  Ardeidae             34  LC
     nycticcrox     Night-Heron

map  Cathartes      Turkey         Cathartidae          35  LC
     aura           Vulture

map  Falco          Merlin         Falconidae           35  LC

map  Falco          American       Falconidae           36  LC
     sparverous     Kestrel

map  Accpiter       Cooper's Hawk  Accipitridae         36  LC

map  Accipiter      North Goshawk  Accipitridae         36  LC
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Title Annotation:In Brief; Map of Life
Author:Gutzman, C.
Publication:Alternatives Journal
Article Type:Website overview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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