Latest Press Coverage
Map of Life has been covered by newspapers, magazines and blogs from around the world. Here are a few selected quotes from their articles, as well as links to access each article in its entirety.
How Map of Life helps preserve Earth’s biodiversity with Google Cloud Platform
Global biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate: The World Wildlife Foundation estimates the decline of two thirds of the earth's vertebrate populations by 2020, providing supporting evidence that we are currently in an extinction crisis. With so many species at risk, it’s difficult for scientists, conservationists and government agencies to know how and where to prioritize and target efforts to halt extinctions and preserve biodiversity.
Map of Life, a collaborative project hosted by Yale University and the University of Florida, endeavors to tackle this challenge by providing comprehensive biodiversity information that integrates data from a large number of sources, including museums, conservation groups, government agencies and individuals. It layers an astounding amount of information for hundreds of thousands of species and using a rapidly growing amount of data, currently over 600 million records, on web and mobile-based Google Maps.
Map of Life needed a cloud-based platform to host their considerably large database, and chose Google Cloud Platform because it offers the best scalable tools to integrate, manage, mine and display data, additionally integrating products with Google Earth Engine and Google Maps.
“Google Cloud Platform offers all the tools we needed for large-scale data management and analysis. Its integration with Google Earth Engine and Google Maps make it ideal for data visualization.”
— Walter Jetz, Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University.
Pinpointing at-risk species
Combining data from multiple sources, Map of Life provides estimates of the distribution and potential trends of at-risk species and makes this information available to naturalists, conservation groups, resource managers, and global threat assessors. Anyone who visits the website or downloads the app can get information about which species occur where, globally. Google Cloud Storage hosts the data and scales automatically as the amount of information grows. Google App Engine runs a middleware API that integrates the data, makes it available to researchers, and displays it on Google Maps. Google Compute Engine performs data analyses to predict which species are at risk.
In biodiversity science, making predictions is extremely complex and requires many iterations, each of which includes corrections and new input from scientists. Compute Engine is particularly well-suited for this because of how quickly it performs each iteration. That allows more iterations to be run in a given time period.
“Every day we’re gathering more data, including from remote sensors. Using Google Cloud Platform and Google Earth Engine, we’re able to make more accurate predictions about at-risk species worldwide,” says Jetz.
Map of Life continually incorporates new data sets from resources around the world. It also allows people to send in their own observations about birds, mammals, cacti, and many more organisms. This platform integrates remote-sensing data from Google Earth Engine additionally utilizing Google BigQuery to perform queries on very large data sets.
“Map of Life uses Google BigQuery to analyse massive data sets, quickly. We can perform a query on 600 million species occurrence records in less than a minute, helping scientists reach conclusions more quickly,” says Jeremy Malczyk, lead software engineer for Map of Life.
Addressing biodiversity and conservation across the globe
Well over 100,000 scientists and citizen scientists are using Map of Life for biodiversity research and discovery. Map of Life is now developing visualizations and tools to support the specific needs of government agencies and conservation bodies and to help decision-making for environmental policy. In September 2016, the Chicago Field Museum and Map of Life received a $300,000 MacArthur Foundation grant to support conservation efforts in South America. Dashboards will provide park managers with biodiversity information including lists of species expected in a particular location. That information will be used to improve conservation strategies in protected areas within South America.
“Humankind has historically had very little information about biodiversity with sufficient spatial detail at a global scale. With Map of Life are setting out to change that. By combining in data and models we aim to help everyone from ecotourists who can appreciate biodiversity wherever they travel, to resource managers who need to handle development in a sustainable way, and to governments who want to protect biodiversity,” Jetz says.
Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment Mountain Portal: a powerful new online tool developed by Map of Life for exploring mountain biodiversity
The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) teamed up with Map of Life (MOL) to launch a new web-portal for the visualization and exploration of biodiversity data for over 1000 mountain ranges defined worldwide.
Mountains are hotspots of biodiversity and areas of high endemism that support one third of terrestrial species and numerous ecosystem services. Mountain ecosystems are therefore of prime importance not only for biodiversity, but for human well-being in general. Because of their geodiversity, mountain ecosystems have served as refuge for organisms during past climatic changes and are predicted to fulfill this role also under forthcoming changes. Yet, mountains are responding to increasing land use pressure and changes in climatic conditions, and collecting, consolidating, and standardizing biodiversity data in mountain regions is therefore important for improving our current understanding of biodiversity patterns and predicting future trends.
In order to accurately predict potential changes in mountain biodiversity in response to drivers of global changes and develop sustainable management and conservation strategies, we must be able to define what exactly a mountain is, where mountains are in the world, and what species currently occur in those mountains.
More than 1000 mountain ranges around the world have now been described in a new study published in Alpine Botany by Christian Körner et al. (2016). Additionally, and for the first time, this global mountain inventory coverage has also been combined with expert range maps for approximately 60,000 species across different organismic groups and is being made available online through the Mountain Portal. The Mountain Portal is an interactive web platform provided by the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment of Future Earth and developed by Map of Life. With just a few clicks users can explore and download growing lists of mountain ranges and expected species. Downloaded data can then be used for a multitude of projects ranging from mechanistic studies on the evolution and ecological drivers of mountain biodiversity to the development of indicators in sustainability research.
The mountain portal is an open source tool for all types of users, ranging from laymen and citizen scientists to researchers, practitioners, stakeholders and policy makers. It is an evolving resource that will utilize the power of the global community to improve mountain biodiversity and inventory information.
Map of Life and The Field Museum win MacArthur Foundation grant
The Yale-led Map of Life project and The Field Museum in Chicago have won a $300,000 MacArthur Foundation grant to support conservation decisions in South America.
The two institutions will work with park services and wildlife agencies in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia to improve conservation actions by harnessing better information about biodiversity. They will develop online dashboards to provide park managers with demand-driven, actionable biodiversity information such as lists of species expected in a particular location and estimates of their distribution trends. Park staff and visitors will use the service, which will be tailored to each park reserve area.
Map of Life is an online platform for species distributions, led by Walter Jetz, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and director of the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change. “The new tools will provide biodiversity information specific to single parks and offer reserve managers basic analysis and reporting tools on data gaps and actual conservation gaps in their reserve system,” Jetz said.
Map of Life’s partner in the project, The Field Museum, has helped protect 23 million acres of wilderness in the tropical Andes through its Keller Science Action Center.
For more information, visit:
Map of Life named a 2016 Best App for Teaching & Learning
The American Association of School Librarians has named Map of Life, a Yale-led project with the University of Florida that assembles and integrates multiple sources of data about species distributions worldwide, as a 2016 Best App for Teaching & Learning.
The recognition honors apps of “exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning” by fostering innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. The award was announced June 25 at the American Library Association annual conference in Orlando, Florida.
Walter Jetz, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and director of the Yale Program in Spatial Biodiversity, is the guiding force behind Map of Life.
The Map of Life app puts a wealth of the world’s knowledge about biodiversity in the palm of a user’s hand. It can tell users which species are likely to be found in the vicinity, with photos and text to help identify and learn about species. The app also helps users create personal lists of observations and contribute those lists to scientific research and conservation efforts.
Range geometry and socio-economics dominate species-level biases in occurrence information
Despite the central role of species distributions in ecology and conservation, occurrence information remains geographically and taxonomically incomplete and biased. Efforts to address this problem, such as targeted data mobilization and advanced distribution modelling, all crucially rely on a solid understanding of the patterns and determinants of occurrence information. Numerous socio-economic and ecological drivers of uneven record collection and mobilization among species have been suggested, but the generality of their effects remains untested. Here, we provide the first global analysis of patterns and drivers of species-level variation in different metrics of occurrence information.
A global cloud atlas for predicting biodiversity and ecoystems
A study by former postdoc Adam Wilson and Walter Jetz provides a new 1km map of global cloud cover variation that provides striking insights into the fine-scale variation of habitats and species. Published in PLoS Biology. To browse the map, see http://www.earthenv.org/cloud
A Cloud Atlas Provides Clues to Life on Earth
After countless years of daydreamers being told otherwise, there’s now a good reason to keep your head in the clouds. Scientists combed through satellite photographs of cloud cover taken twice a day for 15 years from nearly every square kilometer of Earth to study the planet’s varied environments.
By creating cloud atlases, the researchers were able to better predict the location of plants and animals on land with unprecedented spatial resolution, allowing them to study certain species, including those that are often in remote places. The results were published last week in PLOS Biology.
Clouds directly affect local climates, causing differences in soil moisture and available sunlight that drive photosynthesis and ecosystem productivity.
The researchers demonstrated the potential for modeling species distribution by studying the Montane woodcreeper, a South American bird, and the King Protea, a South African shrub.
“In thinking about conserving biodiversity, one of the most important scientific questions is ‘Where are the species?’” said Adam Wilson, an ecologist now at the University at Buffalo, who led the study. The maps also could help monitor ecosystem changes.
For cloud-gazing, you can download the data: earthenv.org/cloud.html
50 Säugetiere und 222 Vogelarten im Umkreis
Ein digitales Bestimmungsbuch, das über Tiere und Pflanzen Auskunft gibt - wo auch immer man sich aufhält: Die App "Map of Life" zeigt an, was rund um den eigenen Standort kreucht und fleucht. Die Nutzer können sogar die Wissenschaft voran bringen.
Map of Life, the biodiversity in your hand
Map of Life builds on a global scientific effort to help you discover, identify and record species worldwide.
Map of Life is an application about biodiversity that gathers data from observations and references from numerous databases throughout the world, with information on different animal groups and plants. Some differences were detected between the mobile and the web app version, so they will be described separately.
The mobile app offers a lateral menu with different options:
What’s around me, option based on the geolocation of the user, delimiting an area (the radius is unknown) on which the information is extracted. Search the map by entering a place name or clicking on the map. Search for species by common or scientific name. My records, where you can upload your sightings after opening a free account. Settings, section where you can select the language or access to the help (only in English), for example. The information for each species includes a data sheet with a description taken from Wikipedia (in the selected language for the app), a map of geographical distribution and multiple images, in addition to the classification of the IUCN Red List.
The web app is more complete than the mobile version, since from the “Detailed Map” option you can filter information such as the range of years or the uncertainty, related in this case with geolocation errors (less accurate in old sightings and more detailed in actual observations made with modern devices).
Map of Life based indicators supporting GEO BON, CBD
Last week, an ad-hoc technical expert group of the CBD met in Geneve to advise CBD on a small set of indicators that could be used to assess progress towards the Aichi targets. GEO BON presented a new generation of indicators based on integrating information from a small set of essential biodiversity variables (http://www.geobon.org/Downloads/brochures/2015/GBCI_Version1.1_low.pdf).
The indicators, developed in collaboration with GEO BON partners Map of Life and CSIRO, were the Species Habitat Indices (Target 5 and 12), the Biodiversity Habitat Index (Target 5), the Species Protection Index Target 11), the Protected Area Representativeness and Connectedness Indices (Target 11), the Global Ecosytem Restoration Index (Target 15), and the Species Status Information Index (Target 19). They are based on global datasets for 4 EBVs: Species Distributions, Taxonomic Diversity (gamma diversity), Ecosystem Extent, and Primary Productivity. The indicators were very well received at the AHTEG, and were adopted as specific examples of indicators for these targets. They also illustrate the power of EBVs as a modelled layer between direct observations and indicators and its potential to generate global indicators and spatial explicit datasets.
Research in the news: Spotting the knowledge gaps in biological species data
Wealthy, emerging countries that are home to some of the most threatened animals on Earth are also the very places where biological records about animals are most sparse.
A comprehensive survey of global species distribution data, conducted in conjunction with the Yale-based Map of Life team, found that few records are accessible for Brazil, China, India, and several other large, emerging economies.
The survey results appear in the journal Nature Communications. The scientists investigated millions of records about the distribution of all known species of mammals, birds, and amphibians. Most of the records came from natural history museums or regional field surveys that make such information available.
“In our study we show that in most parts of the world, and even in many well-off countries, way too little data has been collected or shared to guide conservation and sustainable resource use,” said co-author Walter Jetz, a Yale University associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and director of the Yale Program in Spatial Biodiversity Science & Conservation.
Jetz is the guiding force behind Map of Life, a project that assembles and integrates multiple sources of data about species distributions worldwide, including a mobile app. “More international data sharing is critical, and efforts such as Map of Life can help guide the efficient collection and use of new information,” Jetz said.
The new study sheds light on exactly where species information is most needed. “Until now it was thought that the largest data gaps were in tropical developing countries, that are rich in biodiversity but often lack the resources to study it,” said lead author Carsten Meyer of the University of Göttingen. “Our study adjusts and refines this impression and demonstrates the need to carefully assess and close these gaps.”
Additional co-authors of the study are Holger Kreft of the University of Göttingen and Rob Guralnick of the University of Florida-Gainesville.
For more information about the Map of Life, visit the website.
Toute la vie dans une app
Avec Map of Life, le big data et la géocalisation s’allient pour faire de vous un explorateur averti, voire un biologiste enrichissant la plateforme de ses observations
Vous êtes-vous jamais demandé quels étaient tel étrange oiseau croisé en voyage, telle fleur rencontrée en randonnée ou tel batracien baillant au bord de l’étang? Grâce au big data et à la géolocalisation, il suffit désormais d’un smartphone pour se muer en explorateur averti du grand jardin de la vie. L’initiative en revient à Map of Life, un effort de recherche international coordonné par l’Université de Yale.
Une fois l’app téléchargée, il suffit d’activer la fonction «What’s around me» pour connaître la composition de la flore et la faune alentour. Sur l’île de Miyajima au Japon (où cette chronique a été écrite), on trouve par exemple 229 oiseaux, 39 mammifères, 3 tortues, 19 amphibiens, 48 coléoptères et 19 conifères. A chaque espèce correspondent une fiche signalétique, des images et une carte des zones d’habitat.
Il y a plus: Map of Life est mise à jour en fonction des dernières observations par satellite, études académiques, bases de données et recensements. L’utilisateur lui-même peut identifier des espèces et/ou découvrir leur présence en sauvegardant et partageant ses observations sur la plateforme. «Les changements environnementaux, les disparitions d’espèces ou les invasions sont des irrégularités qui restent difficiles à détecter par satellite», explique dans un article le professeur Walter Jetz du Département d'écologie et l'évolution de Yale. «Vos marches en forêt, dans le désert ou dans les prés pourraient devenir des ressources inestimables pour la compréhension locale et globale de la biodiversité.»
Map of Life, pour iPhone et Android. Gratuit
MOL app reviewed by Science Magazine
The field guide, rebooted. Map of Life joins a small but growing number of mobile applications seeking to reimagine the field guide by combining big data and mobile technology. Reviewer Gregory R. Goldsmith takes the app for a test drive, breaking down its pros, cons, and its potential for attracting a new generation of ecologists.
Map of Life: A phone app that helps track wildlife
Walter Jetz has been working on the Map of Life app for four years. He's an expert in biodiversity, teaching at both Yale University in the US and Imperial College in the UK. I caught up with him on a slightly overcast day on a picnic table in the leafy grounds of Silwood Park, Imperial College’s campus about 40km west of London, where he explained how the app works. Touching the light blue icon with a three-branched tree opens the Map of Life, clicking on "What's Around Me", brings up a list including amphibians, butterflies, bees and 180 birds. "We can move on to the songbirds, there are all sorts of tits and warblers around me that we can hear and then connect up with the app," Jetz told Al Jazeera. More than 20,000 people from Brazil to Indonesia to South Africa have downloaded the app since it launched two months ago. Jetz said five to 10,000 people log on daily. "The exciting thing about the app is it’s not just a field guide; it’s a flipped field guide. So instead of you having to sift through pages and pages of a field guide to identify that species you’ve just seen," Jetz said. "It’s already a tailored list of species where you are right now." The app is an international collaboration with scientists and computer programmers funded in part by NASA and the National Science Foundation in the US. Valuable information There are 35,000 species on the app across the globe but it’s not just meant to be fun in the park; science and biodiversity are the core. Users in remote parts of the world, particularly near the Equator, are encouraged to report back their sightings. Jetz said the citizen scientists are providing valuable information. He said app users in Java had spotted a turtle not seen for many years. "You’d be surprised for one or two of those (turtle) species we barely have any information at all," Jetz said. "We have a rough map but no points on the ground that would tell us in detail where the species would be found." The sightings are pinpointed by the phone's built-in GPS and added to the ever growing database. Jetz said the app comes at a critical time as many species are changing fast - some becoming dominant in a region, others moving to different areas. "Suddenly, we have information about potential threats, potential risks of extinction….which allows us to paint a detailed picture of where the species is and how its range may fair in the future," said Jetz, whose enthusiasm for wildlife was sparked by a childhood in Bavaria and is undimmed. The data can be passed on to policy makers who can then decide if another agriculture project in a region is a good idea or if it will harm nearby species and impact biodiversity. There are plans to add to the app’s six languages and within a few months there will be sounds the animals make to improve identification. The pictures and text are easy to understand; I used the app in New York’s Central Park last month when I spotted a bright orangey-red bird with a matching beak, sure enough the Map of Life identified it as a Northern Cardinal.
Life? There’s an app for that.
When the ornithologist and painter Roger Tory Peterson published the first modern field guide in 1934, he solved one of the biggest problems in species identification. No longer was it necessary to shoot or catch a creature and take it to an expert to find out its name; all you needed was the Field Guide to Birds (or one its many successors, which cover all sorts of living creatures)—along with sharp eyes, patience, and fast fingers to turn the pages.
Now, thanks to smartphones and “big data,” an effort is under way to create field guides that can tell you what’s around even before you lift the binoculars or the magnifying lens. A field guide of this sort was recently launched by Map of Life, an international research effort headquartered at Yale’s Program in Spatial Biodiversity Science and Conservation.
The Map of Life app shows what kinds of life surround you, no matter where you are in the world. When you request information on a particular group (mammals, birds, amphibians, trees, wildflowers, turtles, dragonflies, butterflies, or fish—a collection that is growing rapidly), the app delivers an inventory of all the species believed to be in your area. It also provides images, range maps, and authoritative natural history information, so you can satisfy your curiosity about the frog or butterfly you just glimpsed. The data are culled from scientific literature and public databases, along with satellite remote-sensing, so the app is constantly updated. The predictions of where and when species may occur are generated using the latest modeling techniques. The app also makes the study of natural history more interactive. Therein lies great scientific utility. The gaps and uncertainties in our data on spatial biodiversity can be huge, and they put constraints on scientific undertakings such as assessments of species status and trends, monitoring of species invasions, resource management, and ecological research. Changing environments and species losses and invasions are on the horizon, yet there is no satellite system or other system to monitor these perturbations and few means for biologists to assess and predict the consequences.
But detailed observations from individuals, especially in understudied regions, could advance our knowledge significantly. Armed with mobile technology, amateurs can become citizen scientists, sharing their observations and helping to fill in the gaps. Your hike into the woods, the desert, or the prairie could become an invaluable resource for our global and local understanding of biodiversity.
Paired With AI and VR, Google Earth Will Change the Planet
New app creates a searchable network of species worldwide
Part interactive field guide, part map, a new app compiles millions of records on species ranges worldwide. By pinpointing your location, the Map of Life app lets you explore plants and critters you might see nearby. Or tap around the globe to see what might be blooming in Singapore, for example. Click on a species name to reveal its range map (one shown below), as well as crowdsourced pictures.
A team led by Walter Jetz of Yale University and Robert Guralnick of the Florida Museum of Natural History spent two years creating the Map of Life app, which is free for iPhones and Android. “The story of biodiversity is a visual one,” Guralnick says. Citizen scientists can help tell that story by reporting species sightings.
The Map of Life team plans to add a way to access records even without cellphone service. That could come in handy if you’re trying to figure out if that backcountry berry is edible.
Whether it is a bird, a bug or a plant, now there is an app for that!
A NEW MOBILE APPLICATION can tell you what wildlife species, animal or plant, may be living nearby.
The app estimates your location and provides information and photos about species that could be living near your location. The app relies in the vast Map of Life (MOL) database, an international effort "that aims to advance and share the global knowledge about the distribution of biodiversity in space and time and to provide a resource for mapping and monitoring species worldwide," says Dr Walter Jetz, a senior scientist in the Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and Environment group at Imperial College London.
The MOL app currently hosts information for more than 30,000 species from around the world, including birds, mammals, amphibians, butterflies, trees, and much more.
"The app puts a significant proportion of our global knowledge about biodiversity in the palm of your hand, and allows you to discover and connect with biodiversity in a place, wherever you are," says Jetz.
The novel application, currently available for Android and Apple iOS, also comes with a recording feature, which allows users to make their own notes of new sightings or any other relevant observation, which can then be added to the MOL database and shared with the wider community.
Jetz hopes this new application will help users change the way we identify and learn about the wildlife we see when travelling, walking in the bush or even stepping out into our own backyard, he says.
The app was released last week and already users worldwide are flocking to use it, notes Jetz. "…thousands of users worldwide are already using it to discover and connect with biodiversity and share their observations with friends or the project. Map of Life research is underway to use this and other information, including remote sensing, to better map and monitor species," says Jetz.
In the future, the MOL app plans expand its database to include more species and to allow for stand-alone use, for when the celluar network is out of reach, says Jetz. "On the research front and including scientists from all over the world, the project is contributing to multiple global biodiversity status and trend assessments," he adds.
Map of Life’s new app: The world’s biodiversity in the palm of your hand
Never has knowledge of the world’s biodiversity knowledge been more at your fingertips, thanks to a new smartphone app: the Map of Life. No matter where you are, the app can tell you what species of plants and animals are nearby.
Building on the Map of Life’s unrivaled, integrated global database of everything from bumblebees to trees, the app tells users in an instant which species are likely to be found in their vicinity. Photos and text help users identify and learn more about what they see. The app also helps users create personal lists of observations and contribute those to scientific research and conservation efforts.
“The app puts a significant proportion of our global knowledge about biodiversity in the palm of your hand, and allows you to discover and connect with biodiversity in a place, wherever you are,” said Walter Jetz, a Yale University associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and the guiding force behind Map of Life. “This vast information, personalized for where we are, can change the way we identify and learn about the things we see when traveling, hiking in the woods, or stepping in our own back yard.”
Instead of sifting through hundreds of pages in a printed field guide, naturalists get a digital guide that is already tailored to their location. With a novel modeling and mapping platform covering tens of thousands of species — everything from mammals and birds to plants, amphibians, reptiles, arthropod groups, and fish — Map of Life presents localized species information via maps, photographs, and detailed information. The National Science Foundation and NASA provided initial support for the Map of Life. Google and Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung also have supported the project.
Thanks to a recording feature, citizen scientists everywhere can log their bird encounters and dragonfly sightings directly into the app and add to the biodiversity data available to scientists around the world. “Think of a field guide that continues to improve the more we all use it and add to it. That is the beauty of this mobile application, and its great strength,” said Rob Guralnick, associate curator at the University of Florida and the project’s co-leader. “We hope that the Map of Life app, built from 100 years of knowledge about where species are found, will accelerate our ability to completely close the many gaps in our biodiversity knowledge.”
Indeed, making it easier and more globally streamlined for citizen scientists to contribute information is one of the key motivations behind creating the app. “The world is changing rapidly and species continue to disappear before we even knew where they existed, what role they had, and how we could conserve them,” said Jetz, who is director of the Yale Program in Spatial Biodiversity Science & Conservation and is involved in several global science initiatives for advancing biodiversity monitoring.
“Too much of our knowledge is limited to too few places and species,” Jetz said. “Helping people everywhere to identify and then record biodiversity carries the potential to hugely extend the geographic and taxonomic reach of measuring the pulse of life.”
The Map of Life app is available in six languages for iPhone and Android smartphones. For more information about the app, visit the website.
For more information about the Map of Life project, visit http://mol.org/.
New app puts the world's biodiversity in the palm of your hand
The free Map of Life app dispenses with bulky field guides by allowing users to access a vast global database of species and their ranges, based on their location.
Building on the Map of Life website, which provides a database of everything from bumblebees to trees, the app tells users in an instant which sets of species are likely to be found in their vicinity. Photos and text help users identify and learn more about what they see. The app also helps users create personal lists of observations and contribute those observations to scientific research and conservation efforts.
"The app puts a significant proportion of our global knowledge about biodiversity in the palm of your hand, and allows you to discover and connect with biodiversity in a place, wherever you are," said guiding force behind the Map of Life Professor Walter Jetz, a Senior Scientist in the Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and Environment group at Imperial College London and an associate professor at Yale University.
"This vast information, personalized for where we are, can change the way we identify and learn about the things we see when traveling, hiking in the woods, or stepping in our own back yard."
Instead of sifting through hundreds of pages in a printed field guide, naturalists get a digital guide that is already tailored to their location. With a novel modelling and mapping platform covering tens of thousands of species -- everything from mammals and birds to plants, amphibians, reptiles, arthropod groups, and fish -- Map of Life presents localised species information via maps, photographs, and detailed information.
Thanks to a recording feature, citizen scientists everywhere can log their bird encounters and dragonfly sightings directly into the app and add to the biodiversity data available to scientists around the world.
"Think of a field guide that continues to improve the more we all use it and add to it. That is the beauty of this mobile application, and its great strength," said Rob Guralnick, associate curator at the University of Florida and the project's co-leader. "Built from 100 years of knowledge about where species are found, we hope to accelerate our ability to completely close the many gaps in our biodiversity knowledge."
Indeed, making it easier and more globally streamlined for citizen scientists to contribute information is one of the key motivations behind creating the app. "The world is changing rapidly and species continue to disappear before we even knew where they occurred, what role they had, and how we could conserve them," said Professor Jetz, who is involved in several global science initiatives for advancing biodiversity monitoring.
"Too much of our knowledge is limited to too few places and species," said Professor Jetz. "Helping people everywhere to identify and then record biodiversity carries the potential to hugely extend the geographic and taxonomic reach of measuring the pulse of life."
The Map of Life app is available in six languages for iPhone and Android smartphones, and can be downloaded from https://mol.org/mobile.
The National Science Foundation and NASA provided initial support for Map of Life and Google and Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung also have supported the project.
Data visualization: Science on the map
In 2011, de la Torre was part of a team researching biodiversity informatics. The group was seeking an online platform to make a map of all known species on the planet. “There wasn't technology for doing that,” he says — no tool could handle the amount of data, nor visualize how they changed over time.
The researchers decided to develop the tool themselves and created what became the open-source platform CartoDB. The company offers free and paid plans for hosting and visualizing data through its website. Unlike TileMill, which is primarily intended for drawing and designing static maps, CartoDB specializes in visualizing dynamic layers of data on top of basemaps. Users can import their geo-located data into CartoDB's web-based interface and then filter or cluster data points, change the colour or size of symbols, and animate data changes over time. “CartoDB wants to be a place where your data lives,” says Steve Bennett, a research-oriented technologist at the University of Melbourne who takes workshops on mapping, including the one that Gawne attended.
TOP 10 MAPPING APIS: GOOGLE MAPS, MICROSOFT BING MAPS AND MAPQUEST
These days map aficionados can find an unlimited number of beautifully designed interactive and static digital maps. There are maps that display open data, like Chris Whong's New York City Complaints Map, which displays the past seven days of the city's 311 complaints. There are maps that incorporate many source data sets, like the Map of Life, a set of maps that display species range information and species lists for any geographic area worldwide. There are maps that are both fun and useful, like the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Map, which shows the nearest locations for grocery stores, hospitals, warehouses, etc., along with zombie danger zones. There are real-time information maps, like Tetsudo Now, an animated map that uses Google Maps, OpenLayers and transit timetables to show Tokyo's subways and buses in transit.
Map of Life unveils new Google Earth-powered tool to aid conservation efforts
Extinction sucks. And with that in mind, it’s incumbent on humans to make sure that other species besides ourselves can inhabit the planet and support thriving populations for generations to come.
Another resource has now made its way into the toolkit to help with the critical task of protecting biodiversity. Map of Life has pre-released a new service powered by the Google Earth engine that can better define and locate at-risk species specifically in nature reserves.
谷歌地球新服务：“生命地图”关注濒危物种保护/ Google Earth's new service : 'life map' attention to the protection of endangered species
根据谷歌研究博客（Google Research Blog）上的介绍，这项新服务会借助生物多样性数据以及高分辨率的栖息地信息，对受威胁物种的栖息地进行定位，并对该物种的实际生存情况进行评估。博客上提到：“该服务以直观的交互形式，对保护区内物种的潜在数量进行评估。对于栖息地大幅减少，以及保护措施严重不足的物种，还会高亮显示。“
Map of Life listar var utrotningshotade djur finns
Map of Life är en ny tjänst där man använder sig av Google Earth Engine för att lista var någonstans i världen utrotningshotade djur har sitt habitat.
Det finns en rad med olika verktyg på tjänsten och man kan bland annat själv lägga till en djurart och markera var denna finns. Ett annat verktyg man kan experimentera med är en funktion där man utökar eller minskar det utrotningshotade djurets habitat på kartan och se hur detta påverkar artens utveckling i framtiden.
Map of Life hará uso del motor de Google Earth para proteger mejor la biodiversidad
Google Earth es una herramienta fundamental de la Fiscalía de Pontevedra a la hora de perseguir los delitos urbanísticos, contra la ordenación del territorio y el medio ambiente. Un constructor de la provincia fue condenado a seis meses de cárcel por un delito de desobediencia grave a la autoridad y otros seis meses por un delito contra la ordenación del territorio por haber ampliado ilegalmente su fábrica sobre terreno rústico y forestal y romper los precintos que colocó la Policía Local.
Map of Life: A preview of how to evaluate species conservation with Google Earth Engine
Nature reserves have a vital role for protecting biodiversity and its many functions. However, there is often insufficient information available to determine where to most effectively invest conservation efforts to prevent future extinctions, or which species may be left out of conservation actions entirely.
To help address these issues, Map of Life, in collaboration with Google Earth Engine, has now pre-released a new service to pinpoint at-risk species and where in the world that they occur. At the fingertips of regional naturalists, conservation groups, resource managers and global threat assessors, the tool has the potential to help identify and close key information gaps and highlight species of greatest concern.
MapMonday: Biodiversity Map Shows Hemorrhaging of Species
"Metrics that international treaties set for the protection of biodiversity are solely focused on the quantity – and not the quality – of efforts to conserve habitats. Unfortunately, we are not doing a very good job in setting aside the critical areas many vulnerable species depend upon for their survival. Many protected areas are the leftovers, where extractive industries would have too much trouble casting their nets. It shouldn’t be surprising that species have not responded by migrating en masse, choosing instead to carry on in the places they like, even as those places disappear or become increasingly hostile."
Can love and technology save global biodiversity?
A new inspirational way to engage people to become environmentally active has emerged. Instead of sending messages of loss and destruction, companies are trying to inspire the next generation with positive messages. Google's Earth engine also powers the Map of Life, a project based out of Yale University that aims to put all information about the world's biodiversity – from satellite imagery of forest canopies or snow cover to remote sensing data of animal populations to information from species databases – on an interactive map and at the fingertips of the ordinary public.
Mapping it so it doesn’t disappear
"To address this gap in the lack of indicators that assess how protected areas are protecting species, the EPI and the Map of Life (MOL) — a web tool combines large datasets on species and where they occur — are collaborating. Led by Yale University professor Walter Jetz and his team, the MOL utilizes 55 datasets and displays data for 25,000 species. It sets out to refine global understanding of where species actually occur (called a 'refined range') and where they align with terrestrial protected areas. The MOL paints a game-changing picture of how well—and how poorly—our terrestrial protected areas are set up to do their jobs.
As a first step to bring attention to the potential for these datasets to develop indicators that signal which countries may not be providing adequate protection for its species, the EPI and MOL have partnered to develop a first-ever interactive map launched in time for the World Parks Congress."
Some birds come first — a new approach to species conservation
A Yale-led research team has developed a new approach to species conservation that prioritizes genetic and geographic rarity and applies it to all 9,993 known bird species.
“To date, conservation has emphasized the number of species, treating all species as equal,” said Walter Jetz, the Yale evolutionary biologist who is lead author of a paper published April 10 in Current Biology. “But not all species are equal in their genetic or geographic rarity. We provide a framework for how such species information could be used for prioritizing conservation.”
New Computer Model Uses DNA to Identify Earth’s Most Distinctive Birds
Of all the birds on Earth, perhaps none is more unique than the South American oilbird, which 90 million years ago hopped onto its own branch of the evolutionary tree and has been on it ever since. The oilbird perches atop a new analysis of avian distinctiveness: how old each species is, and whether they have close relatives. By this metric, the most distinct species are truly one-of-a-kind. “It’s millions of years of evolutionary information that’s distinct to the species,” said evolutionary biologist Walter Jetz of Yale University. The new analysis, led by Jetz and published April 10 in Current Biology, used a computer model that turned genetic data, the fossil record and previously-proposed taxonomic trees into a new evolutionary tree of birds.
Giant ibis, little dodo, and the kakapo: meet the 100 weirdest and most endangered birds
The comic dodo, the stately great auk, the passenger pigeon blotting out the skies, the giant moas reigning over New Zealand: human kind has wiped out nearly 200 species of birds in the last five hundred years. Birds we'll never get back. Now, if we don't act soon we'll add many new ones to the list: birds such as the giant ibis, the plains-wanderer, and the crow honeyeater. And these are just a few of the avians that appear today on the long-awaited EDGE list of the world's 100 strangest and most endangered birds.
Map of Life
Ever wonder where you can find Anolis gorgonae? Or what about Anolis proboscis? How about some 25,000 other species? Well, then you might want to go have a look at the Map of Life (www.mappinglife.org). Even just casually perusing this web database for some odd species searches can be really eye-opening.
GPS for Critters
This is not your grandmother’s blob map. The distribution data are nearly infinitely searchable and can be made almost instantly visible. A user can ask a basic question like “Where in the world is the yellow wattlebird?” and get an answer in unprecedented detail. One can map the whereabouts of dozens of species simultaneously, or pick a spot large or small, in Borneo, or British Columbia, or Chicago, and ask: “What are all the species that are found nearby?”
Scientists seek feedback on new global Map of Life
The scientists are hoping that this work will support the scientific community in understanding and saving the world’s biodiversity. They are predicting that the creation of online, integrated and accessible biodiversity data will rapidly increase the speed by which scientists and decision-makers can respond to changes in biodiversity that often result from habitat loss and other forms of environmental degradation.
Interaktywna mapa rozmieszczenia gatunków zwierząt na interfejsie Google Maps
Nie tylko można wyszukać gatunki po ich nazwach, ale też znaleźć wszystkie występujące w wybranej okolicy, przejść do ich opisu na wiki i wyświetlić ich rozmieszczenie na mapie w kolejnych warstwach.
Learning About the Natural World With Virtual Tools
Using Google Maps as its base, this living field guide to the whole of the natural world lets you look up any spot on the globe to see everything that lives there, find out exactly what's been spotted where, and add your own sightings to the mix.
Интерактивная карта животного мира
Интересно ли вам узнать какие животные обитают в ваших краях? Или вы задумались над тем, где в природе встречаются те или иные виды? Теперь это очень просто узнать с помощью сайта "Карта жизни".
La ‘mappa della vita’ è online specie a portata di click
Volete scoprire quali specie di uccelli vivono nella vostra città, o dove sono gli ultimi esemplari di panda gigante, la specie in via d’estinzione simbolo del WWF? Da oggi bastano pochi click, grazie alla “Map of Life”, un nuovo progetto supportato da varie importanti istituzioni, fra cui la NASA e l’Encyclopedia of Life.
Where is the world's wildlife? Interactive map plots global species distributions
A collaborative project led by a team from Yale and University of Colorado Boulder has set out to create an interactive map of the global distribution of every species of animal in the world. New data is being added every day, but the demo version is already impressively well-populated. The map's creators have kindly allowed us to showcase it on our site, so you can see for yourself just how comprehensive a picture it provides.
Map Life: El catálogo en línea para ubicar especies animales y vegetales
NEW HAVEN.- Un grupo de investigadores ha comenzado un proyecto absolutamente innovador y gratuito conocido como el "Map Life" (o Mapa de la vida), una base de datos en línea diseñada para catalogar y mostrar la ubicación de cada especie animal o vegetal en nuestro planeta.
Map of Life Website Will Catalog and Track Every Plant and Animal Species
The Map of Life won't just be a static digital map, but one that changes as the species' ranges grow, shrink or move. The creators of the website want users to contribute by reporting any inconsistencies or new information on a species if they have it so that the map truly reflects life on Earth.
Find Out Where Any Species Lives with the “Map of Life”
The Map of Life is an innovative new mapping tool using Google Maps that can virtually depict the area of the world in which a certain species lives. This tool can come in handy for hunters seeking to learn more about exotic game and for those off-the-beaten track travelers who worry about poisonous species wherever they go.
Novo portal mostra distribuição das espécies no mundo
O portal Map of Life (Mapa da Vida) é um mapa construído sobre a plataforma do Google Maps que lista todas as espécies de vertebrados e os locais do mundo onde os podemos encontrar.
Map of life — каталог информации о биологических видах на Земле
В интернете появилась бета-версия сервиса Map of Life, который может оказаться полезным для учёных, занимающихся биологическими и экологическими исследованиями, и просто всем любопытствующим. Создатели сервиса — учёные Йелльского университета совместно с NASA — позиционируют Map of Life как «биологическую Википедию», однако отмечают, что информация на сайте будет пополняться только из академических источников и после многократной проверки.
Το απόλυτο εργαλείο για τη ζωή στον πλανήτη
Αναρωτηθήκατε ποτέ σε ποιες περιοχές του πλανήτη ζουν οι καφέ αρκούδες ή που θα βρείτε την καφέ νυχτερίδα Myotis lucifungus, η οποία κινδυνεύει με εξαφάνιση λόγω του «Συνδρόμου της Λευκής Μύτης», της φοβερής ασθένειας που αφανίζει τις νυχτερίδες;
CU scientist helps create map of worldwide plant, animal distribution
The map could have a number of applications -- ranging from a family taking a trip to a national park and being able to pull up information about the types of flora and fauna in the area to climate scientists studying the changing patterns of life in certain areas.
Map of Life pokazuje vam obitavališta svih živih bića: Od vodozemaca do sisavaca
JESTE li se ikad pitali gdje točno obitava neka egzotična životinjska vrsta? Ako je vaš odgovor potvrdan, sad i za to postoji rješenje iz Googlea. Naime, Google Maps odsad nudi opciju kojom možete locirati svako živo biće koje obitava na Zemlji, piše PopSci.
Map of Life shows distribution of any species throughout the world
“Ultimately, the hope is for this literally to include hundreds of thousands of animals and plants, and show how much or indeed how little we know of their whereabouts,” said Yale’s Walter Jetz, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology who is leading the Map of Life effort."
Map of Life shows distribution of any species throughout the world
Ever wondered if a certain species of animal can be found where you live? The Map of Life website aims to answer this question. Built on a Google Maps platform, it lists virtually all of the vertebrate animals that can be found at any one point in the world.
Pogledajte sav život na Zemlji
Google Maps odsad nudi opciju kojom možete locirati svako živo biće koje obitava na Zemlji, piše PopSci. Ambiciozni projekat nazvan Map of Life koristi Google Maps kao platformu pomoću koje označava prebivališta 30 hiljada vrsta širom sveta.
Startavo interaktyvus pasaulio „Gyvybės žemėlapis“ žemėlapis
„Map of Life“ („Gyvybės žemėlapis“) - naujas interaktyvus pasaulio biologinės įvairovės analizės šaltinis, žadantis naują erą rūšių pasiskirstymo vizualizacijoje. Šis žemėlapis iš pirmo žvilgsnio gali atrodyti tik dar viena biologinės įvairovės duomenų bazė internete, tačiau ji turi naujovišką interneto kartografavimo priemonę, kuri susideda iš įvairiausių duomenų: nuo muziejų kolekcijų iki ekspertų surinktos statistikos.
Térkép készült az állatok élőhelyeiről
A Map of Life projekt arra vállalkozott, hogy feltérképezi a Föld élővilágát és térképen teszi kereshetővé, melyik állat milyen területeken él. A Google Mapson alapuló térképre eddig harmincezer fajt vittek fel, és folyamatosan töltik fel újabbakkal.
Ο Χάρτης της Ζωής δείχνει πού ζει κάθε είδος του πλανήτη
Έχετε αναρωτηθεί ποτέ σε ποιες περιοχές του κόσμου ζει η καφέ αρκούδα; Ή ποια πουλιά ζουν σε ακτίνα 50 χιλιομέτρων από το σπίτι σας; Μπορείτε τώρα να δείτε τις απαντήσεις να εμφανίζονται στο Google Maps, χάρη σε φιλόδοξο ερευνητικό πρόγραμμα με την ονομασία Map of Life.
Filling In the Blanks on a Map of Life
The applications for such a compilation are vast. Aside from being an educational tool, it helps expose holes in distribution data sets so that future biodiversity research can focus on more specific targets. It’s also a resource for making better decisions on land management and conservation and a potential means of studying disease transmission in wildlife populations.
Map of Life Shows the Location of All Organisms, Large and Small
Ever wonder exactly where grizzly bears live on this continent? Or where you might find Myotis lucifungus, the fuzzy, adorable little brown bat that is currently threatened with extinction because of white-nose syndrome? Now you can track them on Google Maps, thanks to a new program that aims to plot the location of every single living thing on Earth. It's kind of like the Gawker Stalker, only with lemurs instead of Malcolm Gladwell.
‘Map of Life’ will track every animal and plant in the world
The aim is to profile biodiversity across the world, and raise attention to how it's changing, says Guralnick: "The idea behind the Map of Life isn't just about geographical distributions. It's about the environment -- climate change and landscape change."
‘Map Of Life’ Interactive Program Shows Locations Of 25,000 Species
What Map of Life wants to answer is simple, but difficult: Where in the world do plants and animals live? The freely available online map, which launched May 10, now has answers for 25,000 land animal and fish species.
The ‘Map of Life’ Will Track Every Plant and Animal on the Entire Planet
Ultimately, the Map of Life could document the changes in biodiversity across the globe. “The idea behind the Map of Life isn't just about geographical distributions,” Guralnick says. “It's about the environment—climate change and landscape change.”
Find locations of 25,000 species on new interactive map
What's new about Map of Life is that it combines several sources of data that, at first glance, don't seem like they would fit well together. Range maps found in field guides, individual points from someone observing a species in a particular place, citizen science data, data gathered by national park rangers and data gathered from larger regions all show up on the Map of Life.
Online Map of Life
Map of Life, a new interactive website the draws on a diverse source of datasets to map species across the globe, went online yesterday (May 10), reported Nature. The visualization tool combines expert range maps, presence/absence checklists, point-occurrence records, and other digitized species data to form a searchable map. The current version focuses on fish and land-dwelling vertebrates, with plant and some invertebrates species slated to arrive later in the year.
‘Map of Life’ tracks animals around the globe
“We are taking 200 years of different types of knowledge coming from different sources, all documenting the locations of species around the world and compiling them in a way that will greatly enhance our knowledge of biodiversity,” says University of Colorado-Boulder Associate Professor Robert Guralnick, of the ecology and evolutionary biology department.
‘Map of Life’ aims to show all living things on the planet
A Yale-led research team has opened to the public a demonstration version of its “Map of Life,” an ambitious Web-based endeavor to depict how all living things on the planet, animals and plants alike, are distributed geographically.
New ‘Map of Life’ project aims to show distribution of all plants, animals on planet
“A small but powerful next step is to provide a means for anyone, anywhere on the globe to use their mobile devices to instantly pull up animal and plant distributions and even get a realistic assessment on the odds of encountering a particular species of wildlife,” said Guralnick, who also is the curator of invertebrate zoology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.
New Interactive Web site Maps Distribution of Global Species
“What’s transformational is that these different data types cross-inform each other and help us piece together the most transparent, robust representations of species distribution yet achieved,” said Walter Jetz, a conservation biologist at Yale University and co-creator of the site.
Map of Life goes Live
Map of Life — an interactive resource for global biodiversity analysis — launches today, promising a new era in the visualization of species distributions.
The Map of Life
The Map of Life is an impressive attempt to map life on Earth.
Map of Life goes live
“Map of Life is more than a sum of its parts; what’s transformational is that these different data types cross-inform each other and help us piece together the most transparent, robust representations of species distribution yet achieved,” says co-creator Walter Jetz, a conservation biologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut."