New taxonomic collaboration resource launched by WoRMS Porifera editors

Added on 2013-05-25 10:00:33 by Costello, Mark
SpongeMaps ( is an online, password protected “collaboration-in-the-cloud”, built specifically for those working on the difficult taxonomy of sponges (Porifera), but likely with more global utility across other phyla.
It arose from the initial need for online collaboration to integrate morphometric data and images with molecular barcodes (including the Porifera Tree of Life (PorTol) and the Sponge Barcoding Database projects), With the rapidly expansion of new collections of sponges worldwide, as well as the many large still unprocessed collections hiding in museums, SpongeMaps facilitates the movement of these through the taxonomic pipeline – moving specimens into OTUs, and OTUs into Linnaean taxa. In addition to facilitating the formal taxonomic process it delivers publically accessible species pages to the Atlas of Living Australia (with approximately 600 now accessible) and the Encyclopaedia of Life, where data can be manipulated and analysed using spatial and other biodiversity informatics tools. Specimen GIS data are currently harvested from the Online Collection of Australian Museums (OZCAM), or can be uploaded manually in bulk or singly. Images are uploaded directly but ultimately will be harvested from MorphBank, and SpongeMaps has links to external datasets that provide its taxonomic hierarchy (WoRMS and the Australian Faunal Directory), DNA sequences (GenBank and Sponge Barcoding Darabase), and chemical structures. For more details contact Dr John N.A. Hooper
Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, Australia,

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