Choosing an atlas

Martin Westgate & Dax Kellie


The GBIF network consists of a series of a series of ‘node’ organisations who collate biodiversity data from their own countries, with GBIF acting as an umbrella organisation to store data from all nodes. Several nodes have their own APIs, often built from the ‘living atlas’ codebase developed by the ALA. galah enables you to download data either from GBIF (also see {rgbif}) or from one of 10 node organisations.

Choosing which node to query is not entirely straightforward. Broadly speaking, GBIF is always an easy answer, because it has information from many countries. If you only want data from a single country, however, the nodes may offer some advantages. Namely, GBIF nodes may support locally-specific:

Ultimately, {galah} aims to provide access to as many GBIF nodes as possible; it’s up to you which node organisation’s data are suitable for your needs! galah currently supports the following functions and atlases: