Contributing Data To The Digital Beaked Whale Atlas (DBWA)
The Digital Beaked Whale Atlas is a voluntary project and exists to provide as much up-to-date information on beaked whale distribution as is possible in a single location and in an easy to access format. Therefore, we greatly appreciate any contributions of data or other information (such as modelled distributions) on beaked whale distribution that you might have and that you would like to make more widely available.
What Type Of Information Can You Contribute?
There are four types of information you can contribute. These are:
1. Information On Specific Locations Where A Species Was Recorded (either as a sighting, a strandings, a bycatch record, a whaling record or another type of record): The DBWA provides data layers that provides specific locations of beaked whale records. These provided as separate layers for each species and are divided up into different sources of records, such as at-sea sightings, strandings, bycatch records, whaling records and other types of records. These data are plotted as a symbol that represents the location where the beaked whale was recorded, with different shaped symbols for each type of record. All records are plotted to the nearest minute of latitude/longitude (or about 1km resolution). Each record will be labelled with the source for that specific record (such as the citation for a paper where the records came from, or the name and contact information of contributor). The data use restrictions for these data layers states that if anyone wishes to cite or use a specific record from these data layers, they must either quote the reference provided in the label (for published records), or contact the contributor to ask permission to use it (depending on the contributors wishes).
If you would like to contribute data on the specific locations of beaked whale records, you can click here to download a spreadsheet that you can fill out with your records and return to Dr. Colin D. MacLeod (cdmacleod@GISinEcology.com). The minimum information you would need to provide would be a latitude and longitude for each record, the species, the type of record, information about where the record came from, your name and contact information, and information on how the record should be labelled. You should only contribute data that are either contained in published papers, or that you own the intellectual property rights of (i.e. that you have the right to distribute and/or make available to others). If you are in doubt as to whether you can contribute a specific record, please email Dr. Colin D. MacLeod (cdmacleod@GISinEcology.com) to discuss it.
2. Information On The Presence Of A Beaked Whale Species Within A Specific 0.5 Degree Grid Cell (either as a sighting, a strandings, a bycatch record, a whaling record or another type of record): We recognise that in some some cases, people would like to contribute information on beaked whale distributions, but that they do not wish to, or are not able to, make the the specific location publically available. We also recognise that some people are only interested in whether a species has been recorded in a general area rather than the specific locations. Therefore, the DBWA also provides data layers on species distribution that purely represent the recorded presence of a specific beaked whale with a 0.5 degree grid cell and no other information.
You can contribute information to these data layers in two ways Firstly, you can click here to download a spreadsheet that you can fill out with your records and return to Dr. Colin D. MacLeod (cdmacleod@GISinEcology.com). There is a field that you can fill in to let us know that you do not want us to make the specific location available, but only use it to generate the 0.5 degree resolution presence data layers. The minimum information you would need to provide would be a latitude and longitude for each record, the species, the type of record, information about where the record came from and your name and contact information. We will then review your records and process them using our GIS tools so that they can be incorporated into the online Google Earth files for the atlas to provide information about what 0.5 degree grid cell each species has been recorded in.
Secondly, if you do not way to pass specific information about your records, you can process the data yourself and pass on a GIS-ready data layer with a summary of the distribution of your records in relation to the 0.5 degree grid cells that we use to update the existing 0.5 degree resolution presence data layers. These means the only information we will have is that you recorded a specific species in a specific 0.5 degree grid cell. Instructions on how to do this can be downloaded by clicking here. You can find link to the 0.5 degree polygon grids that you can use to process your data by clicking here.
3. Information To Improve The Content Of Other Existing Data Layers On Species Distrbution And Additional information Data Layers: The DBWA contains a number of data layers that provide additional information that is useful information for assessing beaked whale distributions. This includes data layers of expert ranges, key areas for beaked whales and beaked whale species richness. If you would like to contribute to these data layers, please email Dr. Colin D. MacLeod (cdmacleod@GISinEcology.com) to request a shapefile that you can edit and return. Your information will then be evaluated and incorporated into the appropriate data layer.
In order to put the beaked whale distributional data in the context of how much of the world has been surveyed for beaked whales, the DBWA also includes a data layer that provides information of which 0.5 degree grid cells have been surveyed for beaked whales. If you would like to provide information on your survey effort to this data layer, you can click here for instructions.
4. Providing New Data Layers To The Digital Beaked Whale Atlas: There is, in theory at least, no limit to the number or types of data layers that can be held in the DBWA. As a result, we will consider adding new data layers as they become available to us. Additional new data layers that we would consider adding to the DBWA include layers such as updated ranges from reviews of species distribution, data layers on species diversity, locations where fossil beaked whales have been found, model outputs from species distribution modelling, and information on the abundance or density of beaked whales in specific parts of the world. If you would like to suggest or provide new data layers for us to include, please contact Dr. Colin D. MacLeod (cdmacleod@GISinEcology.com) to discuss their suitability and information on how to prepare it for inclusion. If you are providing a complete data layer, you can set any specific rules or limitations that you would like with regards to its use by users of the DBWA.
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