The recent IPBES report on biodiversity calls for a complete re-framing of the value of biodiversity in the global economy, including more indigenous involvement and an increase in human-centred biodiversity expertise.
This API is designed to treat local expertise about nature as valuable and owned by the individuals who hold it.
By connecting, rewarding and trading expert knowledge, this kind of technology can dramatically accelerate the discovery, mapping and conservation of biodiversity.
WHAT MAKES THESE APIs UNIQUE?
The APIs here represent many years of hard work - and may represent the first of their kind anywhere in the world. For every photo of a wild specimen your system submits, the API will return an identification, along with the names of any experts involved in identifying it.
One of the things that makes them unique is that they allow “group accounts” - which means you can access the engine as your own organisation, without your community members needing to engage with our database in any way.
Your community stays entirely with you. Your community, your data, your brand, your culture.
Another thing that makes the APIs unique are specific settings that allow you to adjust the quantity of submissions, level of expertise and speed of response the submissions receive.
THE APIs ARE FREE (AND SCALABLE THROUGH RECIPROCITY)
Although we’re allowing organisations to use the API for free, our hope is that either
(a) other projects will follow our lead and develop similar APIs which also support “group accounts” and/or similar features, or
(b) organisations will deploy our other APIs for submitting expertise.
Given the size of the challenge facing us all - perhaps the highest rate of biodiversity loss in 66 million years - no one group will solve it alone (not government, not a private company, not a university or NGO).
APIs like these offer a way to exchange expertise across platforms while supporting local cultural and community diversity.
PEOPLE WANT IT
People using nature observation apps have told us that, more than anything, they want “prompt replies from experts with reliable, local expertise.” Not just latin binomials. Not just AI (which can be unreliable, limiting, non-transparent). Yes, this API provides scientific names - and can increase response speed with AI - but it also connects real experts providing local knowledge about what’s been found.
Experts, meanwhile, seek (a) fair rewards for their knowledge, (b) scientific rigour, (c) reduced time burden,. We’ve specially designed the BioExpertise.org system to target these requirements, with increasing rewards, double-blind peer review, and improved methods of getting the right observations to the right people, as quickly as possible.
Apart from the general principle of reciprocity, we do have some basic rules:
- When you receive an identification on one of your submissions, be sure to display the expert’s name, e.g. “Identified by Jane Doe.”
- If the expertise comes from a third party partner, you should also display that partner’s name - e.g. “Identified by Jane Doe, Wild Orchid Watch.”
- If there is no partner’s name, you are not required to include “BioSMART” as the partners_name, but we would prefer it, and will do the same for you.
- Kindly contact us before adjusting your speed, quality and quantity settings (at least during this beta period).
- Please try to avoid writing code that might disrupt the experience of other users of this system, and if you have any questions or concerns about the impact of your code, kindly contact us before testing live.
DON’T HESITATE TO ASK
We’re here to help. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, feedback, suggestions for improvement, and we’ll do our best to promptly follow up.