Big data for biodiversity: surpasses 1 billion species occurrence records topped 1 billion species occurrence records on 4 July 2018, thanks to a surge of datasets from the French National Inventory of Natural Heritage (l’Inventaire National du Patrimoine Naturel).

The milestone symbolises a major collective achievement, one made possible through the work of the GBIF network, a diverse partnership of more than 1,200 public and private organizations from 123 countries. GBIF’s global index and research infrastructure provides anyone, anywhere, with instant access to free and open data about where and when life forms occur on Earth.

In recent years, the long-term contributions of biologists and field researchers, IT professionals, collections curators, biodiversity informaticians and data scientists have received a boost through the participation of more than 1 million individuals, whose observations are shared through by the recording societies and citizen science projects in which they participate.

The continuing growth in number of occurrence records also shows a steady rise in species coverage and diversity of species represented in—a trend that reflects the network’s increasing emphasis on filling known taxonomic, geographical and temporal gaps. As of April 2018, has at least one record for 1,049,839 species, representing 62% of those reviewed in the most recent Catalogue of Life checklist.

More information is available on the GBIF website.


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