Indo-US workshop on Biodiversity Informatics: 19-20 January, ATREE, Bangalore

Date: 
Sat, 01/19/2013 (All day) - Sun, 01/20/2013 (All day)



On 19-20 January 2013 ATREE will host researchers in biodiversity informatics, taxonomists, herbarium managers and curators, biodiversity portal initiatives, and young graduate students, in a workshop that will examine advances in information technology that enable open, Net-based access to India’s biodiversity information.

This joint Indo-US workshop is organized by ATREE, in collaboration with India Biodiversity Portal (IBP), Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), the Western Ghats Portal (WGP) and Strand Life Sciences. This workshop is primarily sponsored by the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) with additional support from the Sir Dorabji Tata and Allied Trusts.

The objective of this workshop is to encourage the diverse initiatives taken up by various portals towards sharing and exchange of biodiversity information, while maintaining their individual efforts and identities. Specific goals are:

  • to undertake a survey of the state-of-the-art biodiversity initiatives in India and the United States
  • to propose improved standards for species pages and species distributions for convergence and exchange among diverse biodiversity portals
  • to promote integration of diverse geospatial data with species pages
  • to facilitate increased citizen motivation and involvement in biodiversity informatics

One of the expected outcomes of this meeting is a review of the latest developments in biodiversity informatics, and a definition of research priorities in the Indian context. Another key output of the workshop will be a publication on the state of the art of biodiversity informatics and the way forward.

The workshop coordinators are Gladwin Joseph, ATREE; Cynthia Sims Parr, Encyclopedia of Life; R. Prabhakar, India Biodiversity Portal, WGP, and Strand Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd.

Participation to the workshop is by invitation only. Contact Hema (hemalatha@atree.org).

More on IBP, WGP and EOL
India Biodiversity Portal and the EOL are open and free public access portals for aggregating species pages and making them freely available to the public. IBP and EOL have signed an MoU on building and sharing species pages on the biodiversity of India.

India Biodiversity Portal (IBP) was launched in 2008, when ATREE’s Ecoinformatics Lab led a team of programmers, GIS analysts, conservationists and designers to establish an open access biodiversity information platform for India. IBP is a part of the BRIC structure of the Indian Bioresource Information Network (IBIN) for sharing and exchanging biodiversity information with other portals in India. In November 2010 the IBP initiative got a fillip with funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to build a dedicated Western Ghats Portal (WGP). Now it has matured as a platform for aggregating and disseminating biodiversity information. With features such as the map module, species module and a citizen science module functioning, it has laid a strong foundation for what could evolve as a large, participatory, leading web portal for biodiversity information in India.

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) was also launched in 2008 with the goal of providing access to information on every species in the world. Over the years, and with the launch of its Version 2 platform, EOL has become a significant global resource for descriptive information about living organisms. It has built collaborations and partnerships with similar initiatives around the world.