Map of Life: An interactive look at flora and fauna
On May 10, 2012, scientists from Yale University presented “Map of Life”, a virtual large-scale project with crowdsourcing potential. The interactive global map www.mol.org gives a comprehensive overview of the global distribution of animal and plant species.
This is how the map works: by clicking on the section of a country, the interested user is shown a list of species occurrence in the selected area. Furthermore, by entering the English or Latin name of a species in the search function, you can view the distribution of habitat of any given animal or plant.
In its current version, Wiki Map has mainly received its information from existing museum data, environmental maps as well as regional or international data assets and at present includes approximately 30,000 species. However, the people behind the website have major plans for the future. They intend to fill the blind spots on the map and provide a comprehensive data collection of animal and plant species. If the project continues to grow, it might be possible to visualize the consequences of climate change, environmental catastrophes or other interference factors on specific types of animals and plant species. But the virtual assessment of the flora and fauna is not only reserved to scientists, it will be realized with the help of crowdsourcing. In the future, “Map of Life” is planning to reach a large audience as a mobile app. This way app users can transmit relevant content via site-based data directly from the scene of the event.