With data submissions through the mobile app growing rapidly since our recent launch (see here) we want to share with you our vision for the use of these records.
Your online data dashboard. Hopefully, you have had a chance to check out your personal online dashboard, where you can interact with the records you have submitted (see here for a short tutorial) and watch your life list grow. More functionality is coming to this page soon - including new ways to edit, sort, structure, summarize, map and share your records, and also see how your observations are helping to fill important data gaps.
Multiple purposes of contributed data. The overarching goal of Map of Life is to advance global biodiversity information and make it widely available for research, and citizen science networks. Complementing other data sources and types in Map of Life, your records will help inform research and conservation, as well as contribute to education and community initiatives.
Data sharing. Researchers and citizen science networks will be able to access Map of Life information to collaborate, grow the platform, and educate people about life around them and highlight the importance of biodiversity conservation. Some app users may want to limit the availability of their data, for example for sensitive species. We are currently working on different ways of how observations recorded through the app are surfaced or shared, including options to share records with a delay or in simplified form.
Data quality. We would like for your records to contribute to science and conservation in the most meaningful way. Such uses benefit greatly from quality assessment, as even the best naturalists accidentally mis-identify species. The vast store of different data types and sources in Map of Life, including upcoming statistical assessment of outliers, enhances our ability to vet records. We are also exploring various collaborative curation tools and may contact you via email to confirm particularly interesting observations. Check back with us as we implement these options and begin to add “research-ready” observations to the general Map of Life portal.
Thank you for your continuing interest in Map of Life. If you have any specific requests, please feel free to contact us.