BioSearch : Marine Biodiversity Database of India
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Recent demand for Indian marine biodiversity information has increased manifolds. Owing mainly to realization of marine biodiversity potential in biotechnology, pollution control and energy generation. However until recently, a web based, open access database which could provide comprehensive information on Indian coastal biodiversity was lacking. bioSearch is created to address this need.
bioSearch enables access to anyone from anywhere and at anytime. Once at the bioSearch search page a user can search information by organism name, location where its presence is recorded, its ecology or its economic importance. The user can then obtain information on organism names, image, description, ecology, economic importance and also referred literature
bioSearch being a web-based application, user-end requirements are minimal. Basic requirement includes a computer system with an internet connection and a web browser. bioSearch is designed to enable easy access to organism pages at lowest internet connection speeds. This is particularly important as most parts of the country rely on dial–up (56kbps), internet connections.
Various applications of bioSearch are anticipated. bioSearch at the most basic level can be used by a fishermen for more information on their fish catch. General public can learn more about marine biodiversity by browsing through name indices. Students and lecturers can use description, lifecycle, reproduction, taxonomic and literature information in their project work and other activities. Conservationist can obtain organism distribution and diversity for a particular area or IUCN Red List status for an organism. Biotechnologist can use bioSearch to know distribution of a biotechnologically important organism, which may help in future specimen collection. More advance applications are anticipated in the fields of pisciculture, remote sensing, geographical information systems (GIS) and ecological modeling.