2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 239-11
Presentation Time: 4:15 PM


SMITH, Dena M.1, BUTTS, Susan H.2, GALL, Lawrence3, KARIM, Talia S.4, LANDMAN, Neil H.5, NELSON, Gil6, NORRIS, Christopher A.7, SESSA, Jocelyn A.5 and UHEN, Mark8, (1)STEPPE- Geological Society of America, 3300 Penrose Place, Boulder, CO 80301, (2)Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520-8118, (3)Peabody Museum of Natural History - Entomology, Yale University, P.O. Box 208118, New Haven, CT 06520, (4)University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, 265 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309, (5)Division of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St, New York, NY 10024, (6)iDigBio, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, (7)Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, 170 Whitney Avenue, P.O. Box 208118, New Haven, CT 06520-8118, (8)Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, George Mason University, MS 6E2, Fairfax, VA 22030, dsmith@geosociety.org

The ePANDDA project, Enhancing PAleontological and Neontological Data Discovery API, is focused on the development of software tools that will connect three established, well-supported, and critically important data sources: the Paleobiology Database (PBDB, paleontological, literature-based), iDigPaleo (paleontological, specimen-based) and iDigBio (neontological and paleontological, specimen-based). At present, the ability to access and integrate data from across the geological and biological sciences is a cumbersome and time-consuming process, as the connectivity between modern and fossil, and specimen and literature-based resources does not currently exist. ePANDDA will use application programming interfaces (APIs) to streamline and normalize data acquisition, including retrieval from disparate data sources. This is a major shift in the way the geoscience community has traditionally approached data acquisition and publishing (e.g., building a new portal). It will allow for more growth and flexibility in which existing data portals can be utilized and facilitate coordination with future data initiatives in other geoscience disciplines.

Ultimately, for the researcher, the ePANDDA project will eliminate a significant barrier to data collection and processing, as users will be able to access and query multiple data sources at the same time from their preferred portal, resulting in a much richer, combined dataset. The development of APIs will provide researchers the opportunity to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, to ask and answer new research questions affecting a diversity of fields (e.g., biogeographic/niche modeling, systematics, functional morphology, evolutionary biology, ecology, climatology, conservation biology, oceanography, and petroleum geology) and has the potential to change the nature and scope of the research questions that can be addressed by the scientific community.