Photo: Superb Lyre Bird 1 by Ian Sanderson
The Atlas of Living Australia is a new Australian Government collaborative initiative led by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Acting as a portal, the Atlas facilitates users to explore, combine and analyse information and data on Australian plants and animals. It includes authoritative species lists and classifications, mapping and identification tools, images, literature and occurrence records contributed by a number of data providers.

To help support that aim, the Atlas encourages contributing data providers to license their contributions under a Creative Commons licence. Specifically, because the Atlas wants to ensure content is open for downstream use, the Atlas does not support licensing under either of the two No Derivative Works licences.

As a cross-departmental and cross-governmental collaborative project alone the Atlas is impressive. It integrates with the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), the Australian Biosecurity Intelligence Network (ABIN), the Australian Phenomics Network (APN) and the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) and includes contributions from the CSIRO, the Australian MuseumMuseum and Art Gallery of the Northern TerritoryMuseum VictoriaQueensland MuseumSouth Australian MuseumTasmanian Museum and Art GalleryWestern Australian MuseumSouthern Cross University, the University of Adelaide, the Australian Government Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities!

The Atlas is also a participant node of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and an overseas partner of the Encyclopedia of Life, the Biodiversity Heritage Library, the European Union’s Distributed Dynamic Diversity Databases for Life (4D4Life) and the Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE). It’s funded under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy(NCRIS) and the Super Science Initiative of the Education Investment Fund.

Credits—Photo: Adaptation (crop and resize) of ‘Superb Lyre Bird 1‘ by Ian Sanderson, CC BY-NC 2.0 Generic.