Global Biodiversity data in Google Earth

Another week, another amazing application for Google Earth.

Declan actually reported on this in his article in Nature a few weeks ago, but the passing reference, well, passed me by: The Global Biodiversity Information Facility is a prototype data portal that gives you access to an exhaustive database of taxonomies and where on Earth specimens of these species have been found. You can query the database for your favorite plant or animal and then you can plot the returned geographic “occurence data” on Google Earth, like so. The screenshot below is from a search for White Mustard and Bighorn sheep (for the record, not my favorite plant and animal):

divata.jpgBut that’s not all: There is an easy-to-use tool to add your own coordinate data to Google Earth, links to detailed and dynamic topographic overlays for different regions around the world, and tools for creating 3D objects in Google Earth. The method used is quite nifty, involving dynamically created llinks inside Google Earth that take you to a web page where you can tweak away.