|Digitized collection objects are an important resource for research analyses such as ecological niche modeling, morphological studies, and data gaps. National and international initiatives have resulted in an enormous number of standardized data records, hundreds of millions, becoming aggregated and made available for research use in the last few years. Some aggregators also offer tens of millions of images of museum specimens. Aggregators like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) internationally, and the Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) in the United States, provide several interfaces to their data sets: web based portals, application programming interfaces (APIs), and data processing services. This talk will provide an overview of what kinds of use cases these interfaces can serve, the trade-offs they make, and how to get started using them.
As a concrete example, the iDigBio portal’s features will be demonstrated. The programming API will be described and examples of its use from the R programming language will be shown. iDigBio’s data processing service, Global Unified Open Data Access (GUODA), which provides a high-performance method for analyzing entire biodiversity data sets, will be described as well.