June 15, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 12)
Strong Points: Nice site design, good tutorials
Weak Points: Nothing major
Whether you’re looking for information about the desert kangaroo rat, wishing to enquire about seasonal distributions for barn swallows, or are longing to learn more about Ecuadorian plants, the Data Portal of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) can help you out. The Data Portal was created to make the world’s biodiversity data globally accessible. The nicely designed site is largely organized by three options of exploration: visitor can explore by species, by countries, or by datasets. The homepage provides a brief description of what can be found under each of these headings. (The species pages, for instance, contain species occurrence records, classifications, and scientific/common names.) In addition to its inviting site design, the website also includes an online tutorial to ensure that visitors get the most out of the Data Portal.