BioMaps is a portal to Australian biodiversity data held by government, and scientific organisations in Australia and around the world. It is based on a distributed data structure. This means BioMaps can use the data but the custodial institutions remain responsible for its creation, management and maintenance.
BioMaps provides tools for accessing and analyzing biodiversity data. It enables visualisation of data, and data analysis products, as a digital map. By pioneering web delivery techniques for biodiversity data, the BioMaps team is broadening access to both biodiversity information and innovative methodologies for conservation planning in Australia.
The system will help identify places of biodiversity significance in Australia and be a guide to direct survey and conservation efforts. BioMaps is being developed as a modular application with components being developed and released over a period of time. The first component was the mapping application which came online in September 2005. Subsequennt components will include species mapping and survey planning applications.
Currently BioMaps accesses fauna data from the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums (OZCAM) network. This includes the Australian Museum, Museum of Victoria, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, South Australian Museum, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Australian National Wildlife Collection, and the Queensland Museum.
The Atlas of Living Australia is assembling names and collections based caches of Australian biodiversity held by custodial organisations such as Museums and Herbaria. Once these are stabilised BioMaps will access these caches thus greatly expanding the data accessible through BioMaps.
The Australian Museum / Rio Tinto Partnership initiated the BioMaps project and provides funding for its development.
The team behind the development of BioMaps is the Australian Museum Collection Informatics Unit. The CIU Unit is made up of Paul Flemons (Manager), Mick Ashcroft (GIS Analyst), and Michael Elliott (Taxonomy and Database Specialist). All code for BioMaps has been written by Ajay Ranipeta and the design work was by Ruby Blessing of Kinetic Media.
The implementation of the BioClim and Domain models was provided by Robert Hijmans. You can also use these models in the freely available desktop GIS program Diva GIS.
The Survey Gap Analysis module utilises code developed by Glenn Manion (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change) and Simon Ferrier (CSIRO Entomology).