Biological collections are replete with taxonomic, geographic, temporal, numerical, and historical information. This information is crucial for understanding and properly managing biodiversity and ecosystems, but is often difficult to access. Canadensys, operated from the Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre, is a Canada-wide effort to unlock the biodiversity information held in biological collections.
Canadensys aims to digitize, publish and georeference 3 million specimens (20%) in our initial five years, via a network of distributed databases, compatible with the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility (CBIF) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). Collection managers will publish their data as Darwin Core, an internationally-accepted biodiversity information standard. A central web portal will allow access to the network’s specimen data (including images and geospatial information) in combination with other data such as names from the Database of Canadian Vascular Plants (VASCAN) and the Catalogue of Life.