Natural History Museum launches data portal.
Some of the intro: The Natural History Museum, UK has launched a Data Portal to make its research and collections datasets available online. It allows anyone to explore, download and reuse the data for their own research. The collection is one of the most important in the world, documenting 4.5 billion years of life, the Earth and the solar system. Almost all animal, plant, mineral and fossil groups are represented. The portal's main dataset consists of specimens from the Museum's collection database, with 2,439,827 records from the Museum's Zoology, Botany, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Entomology collections. These datasets will increase exponentially. Under the Museum's ambitious digital collections programme we aim to have 20 million specimens digitised in the next five years.
Data downloads (for the specimen collections dataset it will be as a Darwin Core Archive) available under Creative Commons licence.
There are 8690 Polychaeta records (includes some with species epithet 'polychaeta'), and the digitised records include a facsimile of the accession register page. However, it seems mostly there are no numeric geolocation data for the polychaetes (just 49 of the 8690) to allow mapping or geographic analyses. That is, collection place names are presumably yet to be assigned a lat/long.
It is good to see this NHM Biodiversity Informatics Group initiative online.