Value-added Application Service of Biodiversity Database — i35

Scenario

With special geographic environment, Taiwan germinates plentiful species of flora and fauna. However, human population explosion caused more and more precious species to be endangered. In recent years, Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute not only aims for ecological restoration, but also keeps promoting conception of “Biodiversity” to maintain sustainable development of species in Taiwan; therefore, Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute builds Taiwan Biodiversity Network (TBN) to encourage populace to use it, and popularizes conception of biodiversity widely and effectively to collect more and effective information of species in Taiwan. The source of species information is from database of system platform, TBN built with SuperWebGIS. Users can upload to provide the species photos they took; as a result, users are able to know diverse creatures while the goal of sharing information is achieved at the same time.

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The App for TBN
Goals

By popularizing Mobile APPs, this project aims to have populace know more about biodiversity and get used to it in their daily life. Every user can be surveyors by utilizing APPs so that the precious information of Taiwan species would not be possessed by specified organizations or surveyors any more. Also, Users can upload the results of surveys to the platform of TBN, share information with others and implement conservation deeply and thoroughly.

Challenges

Operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and so forth, are used on smart phones. The first issue is to select one of these operating systems to develop on the TBN. 

Most mobile APPs adopts wireless network to transfer data. Traditional text can be transferred and shown immediately due to the small amount of data. However, on TBN, plenty pictures are transferred and received. Thus, reducing time and flow of file transfer would be a big challenge.

Solutions

“i35” developed in the project support Android 2.3 and iOS 4.0 respectively. This project aims to have users get biological information and upload species photos they took anytime and anywhere. That is to say, Taiwan Biodiversity Network should be manipulated with wireless network and GPS. Besides, to utilize functions like uploading pictures and sharing information, users need to create an account on Taiwan Biodiversity Network in advance.

Taiwan Biodiversity Network contains text help file and plentiful species photos. Users can not only download information through wireless network, but also choose the way to download photos. To prevent from spending too much time on downloading photos, users can choose to download the photos through steps to reduce the time for loading photos. Besides, “i35” can automatically reduce photo size before uploading. Therefore, the size of photo is reduced but the quality will not be damaged. The way does accelerate the speed of uploading.

The maps of species distribution are overlaid with Google Map and displayed on “Taiwan Biodiversity Network” through the Internet.

Results

1.Upload the species photos

This function enables users to upload species photos they took to platform of TBN rapidly and conveniently. ”i35” that work with camera of smart phones will automatically utilize compress function that is built in Android to reduce photo size before uploading and solve the time waste on uploading. Species information will be identified and recorded on the website by the experts from Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute. Users just need to select class of the species after uploading the photos. In addition, the coordinates of the position where the photo is taken would be recorded automatically by “i35”. Thus, users can upload the photos with complete information directly.

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Photo uploading on “Taiwan Biodiversity Network”

2.Species Query

Query steps are listed as follows: 
First, select class of the species that you want to query such as mammals, birds, reptiles and so forth. Second, search according to species families. Third, find the creature you want to inquiry.
After manipulating the three steps mentioned above, users are able to view biological information like basic information, photos and distribution map. ”i35” enables users to get biological information by wireless internet anytime, and also increases portability of biological information in TBN.

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Uploading species photo

3.Living Creatures Nearby
The system database of “Taiwan Biodiversity Network” consists of plentiful information of species and species location that are reported by surveyors (volunteers, populace or biological researchers) everywhere in Taiwan. The results of surveys are integrated with online map to get approximate location which users are at. Hence, the “approximate location” can be set as the center to show locations with detailed species information nearby on the map. This function provides a more intuitive and location-based query method for users to make use of biological information without relying on “Family” or “Latin Name” of living creatures. 

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Species Classes List
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Basic Information
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Map of Species Distribution
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Creatures Nearby
System Benefit

“Taiwan Biodiversity Network” has been working hard for several years and collecting more information of precious species in Taiwan. However, this system doesn’t be popularized among populace for its professional usage, even though it is used by professionals and volunteers from Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute.

In order to promote applying of “Taiwan Biodiversity Network” and conception about biodiversity among populace, i35 is developed as a value-added application service. “i35” combines with technology of GPS and GIS and makes it convenient for users to upload photos with coordinate information instead of filling plenty of data on the network. Also users can query biological information that were found and recorded nearby the specific location all the time rather than carrying illustrated handbooks. What’s more, users can contribute to resource survey and conservation of biodiversity.

Phone: +886-2-2659-1899
Fax: +886-2-2659-0612
Taipei City, 11493, Taiwan
5F, No.71, Zhouzi Street, Neihu District