Friday, 18 May, 2012 Technology
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Map of Life - Discover What Animals Live in Your Area

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The Map of Life website was created so people would know what animal species can be discovered where they live.

The website was built on Google Maps platform. With its help one can find virtually any vertebrate animals at any point on the globe.

So far the Map of Life can be accessed in a debut version. It is the result of collaboration between Yale University and a number of institutions and organizations.

Users have the possibility to select the region and then view what mammals, birds, amphibians, and/or reptiles live there, or they can choose a specific animal and view the region it inhabits.

At the moment the information on freshwater fish is only available related to North America, but researchers are still working on the database.

It is worth mentioning that the information available on the site was collected from various sources, including museums, regional checklists, and even studies carried out by both professional and amateur scientists.

The list of organizations that funded the project includes: the National Science Foundation and NASA, the Encyclopedia of Life, Senckenberg Museum, BiK-F Germany, The International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

"Ultimately, the hope is for this literally to include hundreds of thousands of animals and plants, and show how much or indeed how little we know of their whereabouts," outlined Walter Jetz, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University. He is the leading-researcher of the Map of Life project.

[via Yale University]

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