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Version 3.2 has been released. Click here for more info.

Integrate GEOLocate's georeferencing algorithms into your own applications and/or databases via GEOLocate Web Services.

Version 3.0 has been released.
This major update includes a framework for multilingual georeferencing as well as a "Community Edition" extension which supports collaborative georeferencing.
Click here for more details.
The collaborative georeferencing web portal can be found here.
TDWG 2008 Presentation on collaborative georeferencing using GEOLocate.

GEOLocate has been expanded to include global georeferencing. Click here for details.

Overview

          Natural History collections have traditionally served as a resource for research on the taxonomy and systematics of organisms. Increasingly, specimens and their data are being used in studies of ecology, conservation and environmental biology. A major hurdle in implementing such studies with museum data is the lack of georeferenced collection locations (map coordinates such as latitude and longitude). Traditional methods for georeferencing collection data (capturing map coordinates) from text descriptions are tedious and time consuming, typically involving finding the locality on either a hardcopy or digital maps, plotting the locality, and determining the coordinates. GEOLocate is a comprehensive electronic georeferencing solution funded by the National Science Foundations and developed by Tulane University's Museum of Natural History designed to facilitate this task of assigning geographic coordinates to the locality data associated with natural history collections.  The primary goals of developing GEOLocate were to

  • develop an algorithm to convert textual natural history data into latitude and longitude for North America,
  • provide an interface for visualization and further adjustment of generated coordinates,
  • provide a simple solution for users to import and georeference their data,
  • provide an auto-updating feature,
  • provide support for GEOLocate through project web site, email and phone.

          Results from this project were presented at the 2003 Natural Science Collections Alliance Meeting, the 2003 American Society for Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Meeting, georeferencing workshops held on georefencing at Kansas University and Yale University and at the TDWG 2004 meeting. Since it's release, over 800 copies of GEOLocate has been distributed to various museums, collections and researchers. The feedback we have received from users indicates that GEOLocate is an essential tool in their georeferencing projects.