Map of Life Launches New Regions Tool for Getting Species Lists Anywhere
Today you can explore the brand-new Map of Life Regions tool at mol.org/regions. For any region, anywhere in the world – a state, a national park, even your hometown – Map of Life can now deliver, within just a few seconds, a comprehensive biodiversity expectation for that region.
This feature is possible thanks to the extensive array of datasets that Map of Life has been compiling for the past decade – hundreds of local inventories, thousands of expert range maps, and millions of occurrence points. With this variety, Map of Life species lists are equipped with the type of evidence for each species: recorded species are those that have been observed within the selected area and recorded in an inventory or as an GPS-labeled occurrence point while expected species are those that are predicted to occur within the area based on expert range maps. And, users can trace each species to the exact dataset where the evidence for that species originates.
“While the interface of the tool is simple, there is so much work that has happened under the hood to power this scalable functionality and ensure accessibility in the tool design,” said Tamara Rudic, a communications specialist at the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change.
Created through a partnership with the Field Museum, the new Regions tool aims to support biodiversity research and conservation around the world by providing on-the-fly generation of species lists for any area of interest. This partnership began in 2017 with the development of the early Biodiversity Dashboards interface which focused on providing species lists for Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. Now, the team has scaled up functionality to the entire world and improved user accessibility, design, and data provenance with crucial feedback and support from the Field Museum and their partners in South America. In addition to providing the dataset source of each species, users can also view and filter the species list by threat status.
“Park managers on the front lines of conservation don’t have time to wade through millions of biodiversity records,” said Nigel Pitman of the Field Museum’s Keller Science Action Center. “They need to know now where to focus their efforts, and this tool helps give them that quick answer.”
Head to mol.org/regions to select a country, state, or protected area, or create your own custom area, and download a species list generated on-the-fly. The whole team welcomes any feedback on the tool from our users, which you can submit here, and would love to hear how you’re using it in your work. For more technical information on the workflows and infrastructure behind Regions, head to mol.org/regions/faq to read the full FAQ.
Stay tuned as we add new updates to the Regions tool over the coming months!