Proceedings of TDWG : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
BioBeacon: an Online Field Guide to Digital Biodiversity Information Resources
expand article infoJarrett Blair, Andrew Borrelli, Michelle Hotchkiss, Candace Park, Gleannan Perrett, Robert Hanner
‡ University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Open Access


Managing the biodiversity crisis requires access to credible information on species, as well as their changing abundance and spatio-temporal distributions, among other variables. Technological advances are expanding both the variety and volume of data available, resulting in the emergence of biodiversity informatics as a rapidly growing research paradigm. Many online resources exist, such as GBIF's resources and tools page (Anonymous 2017), however the lack of fundamental categorization inhibits efficient location and use of relevant data for biological research, conservation, education and industrial application. BioBeacon is a student-driven collaboration between the Biodiversity major at University of Guelph and the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. Its purpose is to shine a light on biodiversity information resources and characterize them according to objective criteria that simplify their navigation and increase accessibility. Criteria will include several categories such as data type, source, region of focus, and current status, as well as many tags for more refined searches. The refined search feature and categorization of databases will be the primary distinguishing charactersitics that separate BioBeacon from previous biodiversity database indexing efforts. We envision BioBeacon to be cooperatively managed by its creators and steering committee, while inviting input from stakeholders and other parties of interest. Ideally, BioBeacon will grow to incorporate relevant biodiversity information resources that bear diverse types of data from locations around the world.


Biodiversity, Informatics, Database

Presenting author

Jarrett Blair

Hosting institution

University of Guelph, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario