We were impressed by Map of Life because the project offers valuable resources for researchers while also hosting a number of resources that will broadly appeal to anyone interested in plant and animal life. For example, one highlight of MOL is the color-coded species richness map, which allows visitors to learn about the relative biodiversity of particular kinds of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants around the globe. The Map species section is another highlight, as it contains information about thousands of species around the world. We recommend the "pick a random species" option for readers not sure of where to begin.
Map of Life, a non-profit organization founded in 2012 by Yale University and the University of Florida, allows visitors to explore data about the relationships between biodiversity and geography through a series of highly-engaging and informative interactive maps. Headed by Yale University ecology and evolutionary biology professor Walter Jetz, the Map of Life is the work of a large team of scientists and software engineers from Yale, the University of Florida, and other educational institutions. The project utilizes biodiversity data from a variety of sources, including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Users can explore this data in four different ways. In the map species section, visitors can view maps that outline where they can expect to find a specific species around the world. The species by location section allows visitors to explore species data by country. Finally, the indicators section (as of this write-up, in beta) allow visitors to examine current coverage (and gaps in coverage) of biodiversity data and to compare species diversity around the world. Researchers who are interested in viewing the original datasets may do so via the datasets section. Map of Life also recently launched a mobile app, which visitors can learn more about on this website.
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