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Mammals of the World: MaNIS as an example of data integration in a distributed network environment

Author(s): Barbara R Stein | John R. Wieczorek

Journal: Biodiversity Informatics
ISSN 1546-9735

Volume: 1;
Start page: 14;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: mammals | natural history museums | biodiversity data | distributed data networks | MaNIS | DiGIR

Natural history collections are the authoritative source of knowledge about the identity, evolutionary relationships, and attributes of species with which we share this planet. As such, collections of research specimens play a central and critical role in the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The potential contribution of specimen data to systematic, genomic, and ecological analyses is enormous, and will be orders of magnitude greater when information is made easily accessible via distributed networks compared with stand-alone database systems in use up to the present. The Mammal Networked Information System (MaNIS) is a distributed database network that permits participating institutions to provide web-based global access to their collections data for research, education and informed decision-making. The simplicity of the network’s design ensures that any institution wishing to join MaNIS may do so at relatively little cost and with relatively little technical expertise. Although development of MaNIS and its underlying architecture relied on a number of key programming tasks and innovations, much of what the project can offer at this pivotal juncture is insight into its approach and a template by which other disciplines can engage in a similar process with equal success.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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