Recently a user noticed that there were Asian Red Pandas (Ailuridae) occurring in North America, and wondered if someone had made a mistake. When an occurrence observation comes from a zoo or botanical garden, it is usually considered a living specimen, but when it comes from a museum it is usually called a preserved specimen. This label helps users remove records that they might not want, which come from zoos.
Finding and accessing data There is a lot of GBIF-mediated data available. More than 1.3 B occurrence records covering hundreds of thousands of species in all part of the worlds. All free, open and available at the touch of a button. Users can download data through the GBIF.org portal, via the GBIF API, or one of the third-party tools available for programmatic access, e.g. rgbif. If there is one area in which GBIF has been immensely successful, it’s making the data available to users.
This past week our informatics team has been updating the Backbone taxonomy on GBIF.org. This is a fairly disruptive process which sometimes involves massive taxonomic changes but DON’T PANIC. This update is a good thing. It means that some of the taxonomic issues reported have been addressed (see for example this issue concerning the Xylophagidae family) and that new species are now visible on GBIF. Plus, it gives me an excellent opportunity to talk about the GBIF backbone taxonomy and answer some of the questions you might have.
It is now possible to download up to 100,000 names on GBIF! Until recently it was not possible to download occurrences for more than a few hundred species at the same time, but it is now possible to request more species names (up to 100,000 taxonkeys). For those multiple taxa downloaders out there, GBIF now supports download requests of up to 100,000(!) taxa. That should cover most use cases :) For such large requests, however, you will need to POST you query to the Occurrence Download API service: https://t.
Citizen Science datasets on GBIF plotted with all other (gray) GBIF datasets (>100K occurrences). There are many citizen science datasets with millions of occurrences (eBird, (Swedish) Artportalen), and the top 3 datasets on GBIF are all citizen science datasets. But in terms of number of unique species, only iNaturalist competes with large museum datasets like Smithsonian NMNH. Because of very large datasets like eBird and Artportalen, Citizen Science makes up a large percentage of the total occurrence records on GBIF.