By Ian McDonald –

On Wednesday and Thursday last week, colleagues from all around Australia discussed the varying uses of the Atlas of Living Australia and the ways in which its infrastructure, resources and data is being used now and into the future. After multiple presentations, an evening panel discussion and lots of rivetting questions and comments – the symposium was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. If you were not able to attend, the abstracts from each of the presentations can be uploaded here and we endeavour to make the presentations available on our website, so keep posted.

The Twitter hashtag for the event was #alass13 and while Twitter is still a relatively new medium for many folk, I thought I’d highlight some of the more useful tweets from our many avid tweeters in the audience. Including our Director’s very first tweet from his personal account – nice work.

‘John La Salle@JohnLaSalle1 12 Jun  – Learning to tweet. Trying again to see if this goes to the right place. #alass13

Thanks to all those who tweeted throughout the symposium and kept the virtual world alive with discussion. If you’d like to learn more about using Twitter please feel free to email the Atlas team at and they will point you in the right direction for help.


Ely Wallis@elyw 14 JunMy talk Data out, data in talk given at #alass13 now on @slideshare … cc @atlaslivingaust

Arthur Chapman@arthur_chapman 13 JunToday at #alass13, I found the Citizen Science talks inspiring with lots of new and exciting apps. the future of the ALA looks promising.

Margaret Cawsey@EMCawsey 13 JunThe #TRIN Wiki is a working example of doing taxonomy in the cloud #alass13

Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunKevin Thiele. Perhaps taxonomy could be done entirely within the #ALAu. #alass13

Beth Mantle@froggybeth 13 JunKevin Thiele suggesting that the future ALA will include real-time alpha taxonomy. #alass13 #yesplease
Andrew Treloar@atreloar 13 JunMy talk today at #alass13. Building on the Atlas (of Living Australia) on @slideshare …
Ely Wallis@elyw 13 JunGreat to hear @froggybeth & @gloryofthe90s saying how valuable @BioDivLibrary is in their collection management work #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunMass specimen imaging by @froggybeth. Read about it here: … #alass13
dnatheist@dnatheist 13 Jun@froggybeth inspiring all with digitisation of ANIC collection presentation, including insect soup. #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunAlexis Tindall @gloryofthe90s on managing #volunteer #digitization project for biological collections. #digitalimaging #alass13

Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 Jun@gifry The #alau Australian Seedbank Partnership Portal is a model for living collections, currently under consideration #alass13

Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunThis exists  MT @gjfry: Keen to learn more about #ALAu and management of living(?) biological collections #alass13
Margaret Cawsey@EMCawsey 13 Jun@jim_croft Andrew Treloar says we need collocation of data and tools rather than a distributed system #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 Jun@atreloar demoing Project Edgar, birds and #climatechange  Try it here  #alass13
TERN@TERN_Aus 13 Jun‘Greater than the sum of its parts’ Soils-to-satellites collaboration between @TERN_AEKOS & @atlaslivingaust  #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunAndrew Treloar @atreloar on the Australian National Data Service  Data managed, connected, findable, reusable #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 Jun@snomelf says forget gamification. Volunteers on  want authentification #crowdsourcing #keepingitreal #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunRoger Proctor, describing the Integrated Marine Observing System (#IMOS)  10 linked up marine facilities #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunValid observation. MT @dnatheist: Freshwater conspicuous by its absence at #alass13 Maybe in 2014? But it has been a great symposium anyway
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunMartin Pullan and Peter Doherty, Soils to Satellites, a collaboration between #ALAu and #TERN … #alass13

Margaret Cawsey@EMCawsey 13 Jun@piers_higgs the BDRS has come in for some high praise from the citizen scientists #alass13

Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 Jun@elyw encouraging people to use OzAtlas,  Download it from your Android/iThing store #alass13

Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 Jun –  @elw raises issue of taxonomic name matching. Links to the Australian Fauna directory – incomplete, many names not yet available. #alass13

Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunEly Wallis @elyw describing the iOS/Android Field Guide to Victorian Fauna app. … (warning: it’s big) #alass13

Beth Mantle@froggybeth 13 JunEly Wallis: Coming soon! New Field Guide apps for every Australian State and Territory #inspiringaustralia #alass13 #identifyallthethings
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 13 JunEly Wallis on the success and popularity of the MV Field Guide app – 60,000 downloads! #alass13 #identifyallthethings
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunThe #ALAu Volunteer Portal. Join up, do it here:  @snomelf #gamificationfreezone #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunJoe Miller live demoing Acacia phylogenies in PhyloJIVE, mapping character onto the tree. Try it yourself:  #alass13
StreamwatchNSW@StreamwatchNSW 13 JunI had a great time at the Bermagui Bioblitz, it’s great to see so many people involved and so many records #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunJoe Miller describing #PhyloJIVE, integrating phlogenetic and biodiversity data. … A coral example #alass13
Andrew Treloar@atreloar 13 JunCoolest thing so far today at #alass13: John Hooper showing a video of a sponge ‘breathing’ at one breath/hour. See …
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 Jun – John Hooper describing the Sponge Barcode Project  CO1 turned out to be more informative than expected #alass13
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 13 JunJohn Hooper: 23% of all invertebrates sampled from the GBR seabed biodiversity project are sponges #taxonomicimpediment #alass13
Margaret Cawsey@EMCawsey 13 JunLibby Hepburn Citizens: Alone we will create a lot of excitement and noise, with scientists we can creat a symphony of science #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunAlso check out a locally community managed on-line herbarium. … #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunLibby Hepburn. The Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness lives here:  Check it out. #citizenscience #alass13
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 13 JunSee our recent blog about Libby’s work here – … #alass13 #alau
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 JunIncluding students! MT @froggybeth: Bermagui Bioblitz success stats = 42 surveys, 295 participants, 1,700 records, and 855 species. #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 Junhere it is: … MT @froggybeth: Recommended reading from Donald Hobern: A Vast Machine by Paul N. Edwards #alass13
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 13 JunDonald Hobern achieved a three-tadpole ranking on #iSpot. Out-ranked by a user with a gold-frog ranking. #battleofthenaturalists #alass13
dnatheist@dnatheist 13 JunOpen science interest in people at #alass13? Aware of  and ? No? Very cool take a look #figshare
dnatheist@dnatheist 13 Jun@funkycoda Probably not your first argument but it is an ethical amd moral responsibility. See … #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 13 Jun#alass13 and the #ALAu rippling the blogosphere. Well, a little part of it. …
Arthur Chapman@arthur_chapman 12 JunAt #alass13, Talk of the day for me was Dan Rosauer. An interesting and innovative use of the data. Want to see more innovative uses.
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 12 JunCraig Moritz on the untapped potential of collections data. Phylogenise it. #alass13
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 12 JunGrainne Cleary: it is so important that knowledge collected by scientists is shared with the public #alass13 #openaccess data collection
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 12 JunGrainne Cleary: Charles Darwin was a #citizenscientist #alass13
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 12 JunBioblitz are really great for engaging people with science but lots of resources required & data not always robust #citizenscience #alass13
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 12 JunStaff at condamine alliance are creating #youtube training videos for #nrmplus #alass13
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 12 JunIssues with developing Apps: Apple, Android, Windows all have different systems and require different versions #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 12 JunDan Gledhill, describing FishMap,  Distributions based in IMCRA … #alass13
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 12 JunWhy we needed fishmap – 3rd largest marine jurisdiction of any nation #alass13 see …
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 12 JunDan Gledhill is shouting about FishMap  #alass13 #alau
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 12 Jun@leebel showing us where to best grow pinot noir #alass13 – see the blog here …
Jim Croft@jim_croft 12 Jun@leebel demonstrating the #ALAU Spatial Portal.  Shoutouts for @funkycoda and @robynlawrence #alass13
Atlas of Living Aust@atlaslivingaust 12 Jun@leebel: You can view the details of any record and flag any errors you think it may contain #alass13
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 12 JunBen Raymond has animated migration of Aust Pratincole using #ALAu data points – awesome use of data!! #alass13

Beth Mantle@froggybeth 12 JunTrevor Booth: the ALA is quick, cheap, simple and available now #whatareyouwaitingfor #alass13

Jim Croft@jim_croft 12 JunTrevor Booth: of 819 eucalypt spp, 41% have <2 deg C climate envelope, 25%<1 deg C . Shoutout to @emcawsey #climatechange #beafraid #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 12 JunKristen Williams – 89% of contrib in predictive models come from climatic variables! Remember this when discussing #climatechange #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 12 JunSimon Ferrier deep into colouring maps of Australia by numbers. #geoimpressionism #biopointillism #alass13
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 12 JunData gaps = there are no redback spiders in the ACT except at John La Salle’s house #alass13
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 12 Jun500 million ALA records downloaded and used to date #alass13 #alau
Gary Fry@gjfry 12 JunCitizen science – we can all contribute through Atlas of Living Australia #alass13 
dnatheist@dnatheist 12 JunCombine #alass13 with  and wow!
alexis@gloryofthe90s 12 JunWow, really compelling talk from Steven Chown on potential of data to quickly affect policy & practice in Antarctic protection #alass13
Jim Croft@jim_croft 12 JunSteven Chown, 40k visitors per yr to Antarctica! Spatial analyses of introduced spp, monitoring biodiversity changes #evilPoaannua #alass13
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 12 JunALA Portal of increasing importance for triage decision-making for Antarctic under increasing pressure #alass13 #alau
Beth Mantle@froggybeth 12 JunSteven Chown: Vacuum-cleaning Antarctic visitors to monitor invasive plant species #alass13 #alau
dnatheist@dnatheist 12 Jun#alass13 15 bio geographic regions in Antarctic – who knew?
dnatheist@dnatheist 12 Jun#alass13 spatially explicit physiological data from Steven Chown. Very cool even before use for environmental protection.
Jim Croft@jim_croft 12 JunThe ALA Science Symposium #alass13 programme is here: