Biodiversity Informatics

The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation's Biodiversity Informatics Facility applies information technologies to collect, organize and analyze biological and environmental data from expeditions, remote sensing, natural history collections, modeling and databases. Biodiversity informatics is the application of information technologies to collect, organize and analyze biological and environmental data from natural history research collections, databases, fieldwork, remote sensing, and modeling. The field of biodiversity informatics has grown rapidly in recent years, largely due to the development of distributed databases of georeferenced collections, new GIS-based tools for analysis, and advances in remote sensing. The BIF aims to develop and apply biodiversity informatics methods and tools to provide new insights in conservation, ecology and evolution.

Through research that applies cutting-edge spatial analysis technologies, we aim to discover new insights and develop new methods in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. Through training initiatives and the development and distribution of software and scripts, we aim to strengthen the capacity of students, educators, researchers, conservation practitioners, and the broader public to study and better understand biodiversity. The BIF has four main goals:

  1. Be a leader in biodiversity informatics research  — The BIF aims to be a leader in the utilization of GIS-based spatial analyses and modeling, along with data from natural history collections, field surveys and remote sensing, for research in ecology, evolution and conservation biology.
  2. Provide  training and disseminate resources to promote the effective use of biodiversity informatics tools  — The BIF provides training to promote the effective use of biodiversity informatics tools and helps to establish new training centers and facilities around the world.
  3. Develop, distribute, and support software and scripts that advance and facilitate biodiversity research and conservation — The BIF develops and freely distributes open source software and scripts that are of use to the research and conservation communities and the broader public.
  4. Develop and implement innovative approaches to conservation  — The BIF endeavors to be a bridge between cutting edge research and technological advances and practical applications that can be applied to advance conservation science and applications. Progress in informatics and other technological fields is advancing at a rapid rate and the BIF works to tap these advances to develop, test and deploy more effective tools that can be used to advance biodiversity conservation.

The CBC has developed a variety of resources to assist practitioners in remote sensing projects:

Myths and misconceptions about remote sensing


Remote Sensing Guides

Remote Sensing guides have been designed by the CBC that explain how to acquire remotely sensed imagery, how to view imagery, strengths and limitations of remote sensing, and a host of other interesting topics.