Quality issues in georeferencing: From physical collections to digital data repositories for ecological research
Marcer, Arnald; Haston, Elspeth; Groom, Quentin; Ariño, Arturo; Chapman, Arthur D.; Bakken, Torkild; Braun, Paul; Dillen, Mathias; Ernst, Marcus; Escobar, Agustí; Fichtmüller, David; Livermore, Laurence; Nicolson, Nicky; Paragamian, Kaloust; Paul, Deborah; Petterson, Lars, B.; Phillips, Sarah; Plummer, Jack; Rainer, Heimo; Rey, Isabel; Robertson, Tim; Röpert, Dominik; Santos, Joaquim; Uribe, Francesc; Waller, John; Wieczorek, John R.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Natural history collections constitute an enormous wealth of information of Life on Earth. It is estimated that over 2 billion specimens are preserved at institutions worldwide, of which less than 10% are accessible via biodiversity data aggregators such as GBIF. Moreover, they are a very important resource for eco-evolutionary research, which greatly depends on knowing the precise location where the specimens were collected in order to characterize the environment in which they lived. Yet, only about 55% of the accessible records are georeferenced and only 31% have coordinate uncertainty information, which is critical for conducting rigorous studies. The awareness of this gap of knowledge which hinders the enormous potential of such data in research led to the organization of a workshop which brought together key players in georeferencing of natural history collections. The discussion and outcomes of this workshop are here presented.