[tdwg] USGS Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation (BISON) launches with 110+ species occurrences (and growing)

Simpson, Annie asimpson at usgs.gov
Thu Apr 18 17:04:42 CEST 2013

TDWG Colleagues:

The BISON project builds on GBIF and other data to provide a species
mapping application using the Darwin Core standard. BISON launched today.

This information is available online at:

Project URL: http://bison.usgs.ornl.gov

*Discovering Species** **- **Just a Click Away*

*The USGS makes finding the locations (and more) of U.S. species a lot
easier with the new digital resource – BISON*

Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation or BISON is the only system of
its kind; a unique, web-based Federal resource for finding species in the
U. S. and territories.  Its size is unprecedented, offering more than 100
million mapped records of nearly every living species nationwide and
growing. And the vast majority of the records are specific locations, not
just county or state records.

What’s more, BISON provides an “Area of Interest” search capability in
which users can query by drawing the exact boundary around their area of
interest, down to and including towns, villages, or even much smaller areas
such as parks. For instance, New York City’s Central Park has more than
100,000 “species occurrences” recorded in BISON, with each species noted in
detail. Other BISON search options include querying the species by
scientific or common name, year range, state, county, basis of record, or
provider institution.

As for the results, BISON displays them in both an interactive map and a
list format. Users can click on each species occurrence point to retrieve
more information, such as the institution providing the data, the
collector, the date collected, and whether it was from a collection or an
observation. Further, occurrences can be dynamically visualized with more
than 50 other layers of environmental information in the system. Extensive
web services are also available for direct connections to other systems.

“The USGS is proud to announce this monumental resource”, said Kevin
Gallagher, Associate Director, Core Science Systems, “and this is a
testament to the power of combining the efforts of hundreds of thousands of
professional and citizen scientists into a resource that uses Big Data and
Open Data principles to deliver biodiversity information for sustaining the
Nation’s environmental capital."

“BISON is destined to become an indispensable toolkit to manage species
occurrence data to support scientific, educational, and policy-making
activities in the US”, Dr. Erick Mata, Executive Director of the Encyclopedia
of Life explained. “This is highly complementary and synergistic with EOL's
efforts to raise awareness and understanding of living nature.”

"With BISON, the USGS takes a big step toward making biodiversity data held
within Federal agencies easier to find and use”, added Mary Klein,
President & CEO of NatureServe. “I am enthusiastic about future
opportunities to work with USGS to increase collaboration among Federal,
state and private data holders.”

USGS Core Science Systems Mission Area, which developed the resource,
expects that BISON users will be broad-based and include land managers,
researchers, refuge managers, citizen scientists, agriculture
professionals, fisheries managers, water resource managers, educators, and

Land managers, for instance, might be looking for a piece of land to
purchase for conservation—but first they want to know what species have
been documented for that parcel. BISON will tell them after only a few
mouse clicks.

BISON serves as the U.S. Node of the Global Biodiversity Information
Facility (GBIF) and will form an integral part of EcoINFORMA, the
information delivery strategy in "Sustaining Environmental Capital:
Protecting Society and the
recent report by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology (PCAST <http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/pcast>

"BISON responds directly to a key need PCAST pointed out in ‘Sustaining
Environmental Capital’ -- to make Federal environmental data available,
inter-operable, and usable to the public," said PCAST member Rosina
Bierbaum, "We look forward to this 'biodiversity' hub being supplemented by
complementary ecological data hubs by other Federal partners, to further
the goal of helping communities across the Nation make increasingly wise
planning and management decisions."

BISON already includes millions of points from the Federal investment in
biodiversity research. It is formally cooperating with other Federal
agencies to greatly expand the delivery of federally funded biodiversity
data for the greatest possible good. Hundreds of thousands of citizen and
professional scientists have collected the data in BISON. Non-governmental
organizations, state and local governments, universities, and many others
are also participating in this enormous undertaking.

The USGS has built and maintains BISON, which is hosted on the massive
Federal computing infrastructure at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

To learn more, visit: http://bison.usgs.ornl.gov or contact the USGS BISON
Team at BISON at usgs.gov

The USGS Core Science Analytics and Synthesis program within Core Science
Systems is home to BISON and focuses on innovative ways to manage and
deliver scientific data and information. The program implements and
promotes standards and best practices to enable efficient, data-driven
science for decision-making that supports a rapid response to emerging
natural resource issues. One of the ways this is accomplished is by
developing national data products that increase our understanding of the
Earth’s natural systems.

**** http://www.usgs.gov/****

*Annie Simpson
Eco-Science Synthesis, Core Science Systems
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 302
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, Virginia  20192
asimpson at usgs.gov
703.648.4281 desk*
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