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Photosharing Sites Aid in Studying Biodiversity

Photosharing Sites Aid in Studying Biodiversity

Image source: flickr.com/photos/yimhafiz

A new study claims that the popular photosharing sites we all know and love could be a powerful tool for studying insect biodiversity.

With the widespread adoptance of smartphones that are capable of not only taking high-resolution photos, but also uploading them to the internet with location and other data attached to them, the study of our planet’s biodiversity is getting a boost.

“Scientific information has traditionally being retrieved from specialized books and journals. In the case of entomology, the publication of field sampling results has been the cornerstone of biodiversity datasets. Availability of modern digital photograph technologies, together with worldwide access to internet is profoundly modifying the study of biodiversity. Hemiptera is a good target group to be approached through the combination of these news technologies in reason of their frequency, and some results may be already retrieved from uploaded photographic data.” – Photosharing websites may improve Hemiptera biodiversity knowledge and conservation

While the study finds value in these crowdsourced photos, it also acknowledges that there are shortcomings to them, including taking photos for the sake of aesthetics and not entomology (making specimen identification difficult), and incomplete or incorrect tagging and data attached to the images.

The study lays out some guidelines for photos that may be scientifically valuable, so those of you who wish to contribute to the knowledge of biodiversity through your Instagram feed can improve your uploads.

Read the full study here: Photosharing websites may improve Hemiptera biodiversity knowledge and conservation

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