About the Atlas
About the Atlas
Who we are and what we do
The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA or Atlas) is an e-infrastructure that is funded by the Australian Government via its National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).
It is a collaborative partnership of organisations that have stewardship of biological data and expertise in biodiversity informatics, including museums, biological collections, community groups, research organisations, government (state and federal), and natural resource managers.
It delivers a centralised web-based infrastructure to capture, aggregate, manage, discover and analyse all classes of biodiversity data and associated information, through a suite of tools and spatial layers for use by research, industry, government and the community.
It contains more than 67 million occurrence records, based on specimens, field observations and surveys. These records are enriched by additional information including molecular data, photographs, maps, sound recordings and literature.
Its vision is to lead the digital transformation in sharing biodiversity knowledge thereby supporting and enabling high quality research and innovation outcomes to address national and global challenges.
It supports a host of activities by its stakeholders from research, biodiversity discovery and documentation, environmental monitoring and reporting, conservation planning, biosecurity activities, education and citizen science, together with enterprises and organisations leveraging off the open infrastructure to create and enhance their own services and products.
The ALA is one of Australia’s premier research infrastructure facilities and is actively contributing to global advancements in biodiversity data management. The ALA is also the Australian node to the international open data infrastructure the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
For more information about the architecture and components to the Atlas, including implementation of the infrastructure internationally – the following paper provides detail.
The ALA is founded on the principle of open access – collect data once, make it freely accessible and discoverable, use it many times. This is particularly important in the context of public data produced, collected, held and funded by government as well as in a global biodiversity informatics framework such as that outlined in the Global Biodiversity Informatics Outlook (GBIO).
The ALA’s infrastructure or software is also made available as open source software with the intention of encouraging a collaborative approach and community of practice around the infrastructure as well as interoperability and cost saving benefits.
You can use this site to:
- access information pages for each species containing photos, descriptions, maps and observations
- access scientific and common names
- explore the flora and fauna reported around your neighbourhood
- learn about Australia’s biodiversity collections at museums, herbaria and other institutions
- learn about citizen science projects
- map, analyse and visualise biodiversity and environmental data and trends
- access tools to help track changes in biodiversity and the environment
- download and use open source tools
- download biodiversity data
- access images, literature and genetic information through Australian nodes of international data repositories
- volunteer for digitisation projects.
Also, you can get facts and figures about the information contained in the Atlas from the Atlas dashboard.
For help using the Atlas, a number of User Guides have been provided.