Supporting Red List threat assessments with GeoCAT


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Species distribution data from museum collections data and observation networks are quickly becoming available on the web. In the framework of a collaboration between Kew Gardens and the European project ViBRANT, we have designed and implemented GeoCAT, an open source, browser based tool that performs rapid geospatial analysis to facilitate the process of Red Listing taxa. GeoCAT enables user to quickly and easily combine data from natural history collections published to the GBIF network, observations posted to Flickr and Scratchpads, as well as new sources uploaded by the user. Analyses are run instantly in the web-browser and a complete record of the process are stored in a GeoCAT file that can be reloaded, shared and published.

GeoCAT is built using the latest web-technologies based in Javascript and HTML5. The result in a responsive and intuitive environment for web-based GIS and conservation analysis algorithms. Algorithms for measuring species threat are implemented directly in the browser, avoiding any need to move data to desktop applications or to send the data for server-side processing. The GeoCAT file format streamlines the process of restarting or publishing the information for a project by encoding all data, including algorithm parameters, outputs, and application state, into a web syntax called JSON. The application relies heavily on consistent data standards, where the data received will be in a predictable format. For example, GBIF provides a REST API where data can be queried and downloaded, the data standards are encoded in their web-services documentation,

GeoCAT was developed as an open source tool. This means that the methods and contributions of the code itself can help inform the informatics community in the future. Open source also aids in the transparency of decision making, by allowing anyone to see and audit algorithms. The code is accessible to anyone from the project’s Github repository ( We hope to see GeoCAT enhance the ease, speed and accuracy of Red List assessments and also allow natural history collections to when their data was involved in Red List assessments by storing all information in the GeoCAT file. The tool represents a first step toward bringing species risk assessment to the web and providing the basis for standards we may use for sharing the information and methods behind Red List assessments.

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Supporting Red List threat assessments with GeoCAT

  1. 1. Supporting red listthreat assessmentswith GeoCATGeospatial Conservation Assessment ToolJavier de la TorreVizzuality@jatorre
  2. 2. _Around 60K assesments, 28KspatialMammalsAmphibiansCoralsBirds....Very little plants
  3. 3. _The IUCN ProcessIUCN Red List process species should be assessedagainst 5 criteria relating to different aspects ofextinction riskdeclining population, small population size, restrictedgeographic range...
  4. 4. _The IUCN ProcessIUCN Red List process species should be assessedagainst 5 criteria relating to different aspects ofextinction riskdeclining population, small population size, restrictedgeographic range...
  5. 5. _Geospatial analysis EOO and AOO. Quite controversial, but thats what we have.
  6. 6. EOO is a measure of the AOO is a measure of thegeographic range size of a species area in which a species occurs
  7. 7. _geospatial analysis before Proprietary ESRI software Transformation of data before analysis No way to reconstruct the analysis that was done
  8. 8. _we want Free Open Source software Customized for Biodiversity Informatics Make the analysis on the web and make them sharable Be able to see and recreate the analysis
  9. 9. Download Data
  10. 10. _Introducing GeoCATGeospatial Conservation Analysis Tool video
  11. 11. demo
  12. 12. _.geocat format Serialization of the whole app Standarization?
  13. 13. _What is coming? Cloud service through CartoDB Integration on Scratchpads (ViBRANT) via DWC-A Integration on the Red List Website Real time collaboration Handling millions of records
  14. 14. _CartoDB demo“Extra” session tomorrow Tuesday 18th
  15. 15. _Who is using it? More popular than Facebook We know people are using it in Malaysia, Madagascar, China, USA. Many Kew staff are using it e.g. Aaron Davis – assessing species of Coffea in Madagascar and for assessments of snowdrops (Galanthus)   in Europe.
  16. 16. Sub Domain - rlat geocat 1 Sep 2011 - 30 Sep 2011Map Overlay Comparing to: Site Visits 1 98
  17. 17. 366 visits came from 47 countries/territories Site UsageVisits Pages/Visit Avg. Time on Site % New Visits Bounce Rate366 2.26 00:02:43 63.93% 40.98%% of Site Total: Site Avg: Site Avg: Site Avg: Site Avg: 100.00% 2.26 (0.00%) 00:02:43 (0.00%) 63.93% (0.00%) 40.98% (0.00%)Country/Territory Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Time on % New Visits Bounce Rate SiteUnited States 98 2.01 00:02:17 86.73% 40.82%United Kingdom 78 2.13 00:02:23 29.49% 25.64%Spain 27 1.93 00:01:23 81.48% 51.85%Madagascar 16 3.81 00:10:07 6.25% 37.50%France 14 2.57 00:02:47 78.57% 57.14%Germany 12 1.33 00:01:50 33.33% 75.00%Canada 11 2.18 00:01:10 90.91% 27.27%Venezuela 9 1.00 00:00:00 0.00% 100.00%Ukraine 9 8.56 00:19:43 22.22% 11.11%Chile 8 2.12 00:02:31 62.50% 37.50% 1 - 10 of 47 1 Google Analytics
  18. 18. _Who is behind it? Join effort of ViBRANT, Kew Gardens and IUCN
  19. 19. Thank you!Javier de la Torre@jatorreVizzuality148 Lafayette St. PH, New York, 10013,USA+1 347 320 7715+34 689 41