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Distributed Database Projects

The MVZ has led the development of the three founding distributed database networks for mammal (MaNIS), herpetological (HerpNET), and avian (ORNIS) specimen collections. Funded by the National Science Foundation (with HerpNET and ORNIS in collaboration with the University of Kansas Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center), these projects aggregate natural history collections from around the world, and have become a core data resource for biodiversity and organismal research.

Carol Spencer

The success of these distributed networks has given rise to the latest collaborative NSF project, VertNet, which aims to develop a cloud-based platform for the four main vertebrate distributed database networks: for mammal (MaNIS), herpetological (HerpNET), avian (ORNIS), and fish (FishNet) collections.

These projects mobilized large collaborative efforts to digitize museum catalogs, network these databases to a searchable portal and add geospatial data for the mapping of specimen localities. With the tandem development of BioGeomancer and GeoLocate, the museum and biodiversity community now has the ability to research and enhance their collections with verifiable geospatial data at an exponentially increasing pace.

Follow the revolution in biodiversity informatics on the VertNet blog and VertNet website.

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