Monday, July 26, 2010

The NBII LIFE and the Gap Analysis Program Have Begun Uploading a Comprehensive Photo Collection of Southwest U.S. Habitats

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has just made available valuable data on the landscapes of the Southwest to a wider audience. The USGS coordinates both the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), which helps make biological data and other information available online, and the Gap Analysis Program (GAP), which identifies native animal and plant communities not adequately represented in existing conservation lands.  The NBII's Library of Images From the Environment (LIFE) staff recently worked with the GAP staff to extract images and data from the GAP database and load them into the LIFE. The first collection is now live and contains approximately 15,000 images of the different habitats of Utah, with data accompanying each on the composition of the landscape, date photographed, and more.  The GAP images are public domain images and thus are now free for use to a new audience consisting of researchers, educators, students, and the general public.  To see this collection, select the Special Collections tab on the LIFE home page, and then select the Gap Analysis Program.  The next state to be uploaded this summer is Arizona, followed in the fall by Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico. Adding this comprehensive collection of landscape images supports LIFE's mission of serving images to support research and education – and the mission of treating each image as scientific data.

(Photo: Barren Upland Cliff. Credit: Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project Field Crew/


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