July 2008 newsletter summary

July 2008 – Atlas activities, articles and reports, media releases, conferences and workshops, biodiversity weblinks

Many thanks to all those who responded positively to the first Atlas newsletter and particularly to those who have already provided input to the Atlas’ user needs analysis. All information in these newsletters is included in the Atlas of Living Australia website at Atlas Updates.

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Atlas Business Plan 2008-2009

The Atlas has developed its Business Plan for the coming year and would value input from any interested parties on the approach taken and the developments planned. This plan describes the key components which have been identified as priorities for the Atlas.

For more information on the business plan, see ALA Business Plan 2008-2009 (Draft) – PDF (329KB).

The Atlas and other networks

The Atlas is fortunate to be able to build upon the work of existing biodiversity data networks, in particular the Australian Virtual Herbarium (AVH) and the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums (OZCAM). The AVH and OZCAM each bring together data from collections throughout Australia and offer public interfaces for searching these data. The ALA will work with these and with similar networks to develop compatible tools and data standards, e.g. with the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), the Australian Microbial Resource Information Network (AMRIN), and the Australian Plant Pest Database (APPD). The Atlas aims to contribute to the further development of these networks and to assist them in delivering information products targeted to their specific audiences.

For more information on the Atlas’ plans to support data sharing networks, see Data Provision Services.

Atlas staff

The Atlas recently has recruited a few key staff to join the core team based in Canberra. Dr Lynette Woodburn has taken up the role of Metadata Curator and will be responsible for developing relationships with data providers around Australia and for managing the Atlas metadata repository. Dr Nick dos Remedios has started work as a Java Developer and will initially be focusing on tools to harvest geospatial data. A Technical Architect has also been appointed and will start work later in the year.

For more information on contacting the Atlas of Living Australia, see Contact Us.

Data Integration and Annotation Services for Biodiversity

Data Integration and Annotation Services for Biodiversity (DIAS-B) is a project funded by the NCRIS National e-Research Architecture Taskforce (NeAT). This project provides additional support for the ALA to develop its Metadata Repository and Data Annotation Services components. The project will enable the Atlas to recruit four developers to work on these components (two based at the CSIRO ICT Centre and two at the University of Queensland). Additional support for these activities has been committed from CSIRO’s Information Management and Technology group.

For more information on DIAS-B, see NeAT Business Plan Component Data Integration and Annotation Services in Biodiversity (DIAS-B) – PDF (299KB).

Other activity

Over the last month the Atlas team has been working on the following tasks: