Resurrecting iSpecies after moving it to a new folder on one of my servers, and browsing popular searches, I keep coming across clearly erroneous distributions. FishBase seems a major culprit. For example, the common pandora Pagellus erythrinus is a marine fish, yet GBIF displays numerous occurrences in mainland Africa (dots with black centre on map below).
What gives? Well, after struggling with the somewhat non-intuitive GBIF web site I found that the erroneous records are from FishBase. As for the frog example I blogged about earlier, the actual records have locality information indicating most of the records come from the Mediterranean, but the latitude and longitudes are reversed. Swapping these, the records show a more believable distribution (white dots on SVG map below). If you don't see the map, use a decent web browser such as Safari 3 or Firefox 2. If you must use Internet Explorer, grab the RENESIS player.
I know I've harped on about this before, but surely the time is ripe for some clever data cleaning? Especially if users start to loose their trust in GBIF.