Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Map of Life and Integrating Big Data in Ecology and Evolution
Rob Penn Guralnick

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rum 10
Date: 2014-10-30 12:00 PM – 12:15 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-14


Given that patterns of biodiversity today, and over deeper time, show important relationships to climate and landscape change, how will changing ehnvironment over the next century affect biodiversity?  How will climate change interact with land use, and the biological homogenization of the planet via invasive species?  What are the rates and magnitude of species distributional change and can those rates be forecast into the future with any certainty?  How do we integrate knowledge about phylogenetics, traits and geography to better predict biodiversity loss.  These are among the great scientific questions of our day, with vital implications for human welfare.  But addressing these types of global questions requires unprecedented access to data, as well as better mechanisms for rapidly processing and interpreting those data through better leveraging of modern technologies.   Reassembling data and information regarding species distributions, phylogenetic, and traits new platforma and tools and a new set of skills that bridge between conceptual ecological and evolurionary frameworks and models and cyberinfrastructure approaches to handle datasets increasing from hundred of millions of records to billions, all with differing levels of measurement uncertainty and from a variety of different sources.  Map of Life is a platform that extends biogeography and biodiveristy into a Big Data framework.  Our platform is built using a cloud-based instance of postgreSQL and postGIS along with a fast tiling and mapping solution, and front end caching solution that is performant even for large queries.  Data quality issues are paramount in Map of Life and I discuss efforts to assess geospatial and taxonomic issues and how those research outputs are then folded back into the Map of Life platform.  Existing tools provide means to explore available data products for individual species, to integrate those products via a simple overlay to create a new summary product, and to query the products to acquire a list of species within 50km of a selected point on the map.  These products are all made available via application program interfaces, moving Map of Life from simple application to an unparalleled platform and service for biodiversity resources.  I close by discussing next steps and novel products that Map of Life will be producing especiially integrations with workflow tools such as Arbor, and pphylogenetic datasets and visualization tools such as Open Tree of Life and OneZoom.