By Lynne Sealie, Atlas of Living Australia
The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is collaborating with the Greater Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER) to increase the use of ALA tools by GER partners in their project activities. The GER Initiative is a continent-scale corridor concept to improve the conservation and community well being of people and places along the Great Eastern Ranges of Australia (http://www.greateasternranges.org.au).
The GER Initiative exemplifies the challenges of using and managing environmental data. This data is used at multiple scales by diverse users who are seeking information that has been scattered across many government agencies and research institutions in four States (QLD, NSW, ACT and Victoria).
Over 100 organisations are already involved in the wider GER Initiative, representing a broad range of potential users of ALA tools and services.
In early March, ALA and GER representatives attended a two-day workshop to analyse the environmental information and data collection needs of GER partners, and to investigate how ALA tools and data might suit their needs.
Providing ‘citizen science’ data capture and analysis tools for GER partners is a high priority. Data capture needs to include on-ground activities associated with specific places and associated species. The ALA-GER workshop provided valuable feedback to ALA about current and planned data management tools and identified specific projects within the GER initiative that could immediately derive value from current Atlas capabilities.
The participants developed a short list of possible actions in the closing section of the workshop. The GER Initiative and the ALA are currently developing the project management plan.