Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM
INTEROPERABILITY OF DATABASES FOR FOSSIL AND LIVING ORGANISMS: CORALS AS A PROTOTYPE SYSTEM
The contents and functionalities of two existing WWW databases on different aspects of corals are being integrated in order to enable users to learn more about a taxon, occurrences through space and time, and evolutionary and environmental correlates than from either database alone. NMITA (=Neogene Marine Biota of Tropical America; University of Iowa; nmita.geology.uiowa.edu) provides taxonomic and stratigraphic information on neotropical fossils. Hexacorallia (=Biogeoinformatics of Hexacorallia, University of Kansas: www.kgs.ukans.edu/Hexacoral) contains data on taxonomy and biogeography of living corals and their allies, plus environmental parameters. Interoperability is achieved through Query Brokers. Tools for linking synonymous names, making identifications, mapping occurrences, and analyzing environments are being developed using information from both databases. As a pilot study, comprehensive taxonomic, biogeographical, and paleontological data are being added for Poritidae, a diverse and widespread reef-building family and frequent subject of reproductive, bleaching, paleoclimatological, and paleobiogeographical research. Maps of poritid occurrences are dynamically generated for different intervals of geologic time. Resulting tools and schemas from the project will be made freely available in an effort to promote interoperability between databases on fossil and extant taxa.