Working Group 7

Dynamic atlas of Quebec’s biodiversity

The program of this working group is designed to develop an information infrastructure that will serve researchers as they ask questions or obtain specimen data relevant to their research in a wide range of disciplines, from taxonomy to ecology. Indeed, maps and atlas data may provide the basis for the generation of ecological or biogeographical hypotheses by researchers; the creation of bioclimatic models, the evaluation or creation of protected areas, the development of species lists by MRCs, cities or any other jurisdiction requiring biodiversity data for management, education of the general public, particularly at the school level, for example by showing students that the distribution of animals and plants around them are linked to the global environment and that changing it may alter the area in which they live.

The atlas will include a set of thematic maps (climate data, geological data, etc.) for visualizing specimen data from collections from the portal Canadensys. These maps will enable researchers and the public to explore biodiversity data based on environmental parameters such as climate, geology or land use.

Objectives of the group:

  • Contribute to the development of the dynamic atlas of biodiversity in Quebec, one of the main objectives of QCBS research axis 1 (discovery of biodiversity).
  • In collaboration with Canadensys, make available on the internet specimen data from biodiversity collections in Quebec so they are useful for researchers and the general public.
  • Determine what types of cartographic information would be most useful to represent the distribution of specimens heuristically, to enable researchers to rapidly explore hypotheses and to help the general public better understand the environmental determinants of biodiversity in Quebec.
  • Find biophysical maps of Quebec (climate, geology, soils, vegetation, land use, parks, etc.) in an electronic format (raster or vector) with open license that would be useful for the visualization of specimen data.
  • Adapt as needed the selected maps to WGS84 format (used by Google Maps).
  • Determine the best technologies for combining specimen and cartographic data.
  • Develop a prototype of the atlas of Quebec’s biodiversity with data from the biodiversity collections of the Université de Montréal and McGill University.
  • Members

    Luc Brouillet (Université de Montréal), Terry Wheeler (McGill University), Sylvie de Blois (McGill University), Jeffrey Cardille (McGill University), Anne Bruneau (Université de Montréal), Christian Gendreau (Canadensys, Centre sur la biodiversité, Université de Montréal), Peter Desmet (Canadensys, Centre sur la biodiversité, Université de Montréal),