Future directions

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Existing and upcoming content

Corals of the World is currently at draft Beta stage and is released into the public arena for consultation and feedback. Data and content will be updated frequently and without warning to users until Version 1.00 is released after which it will be locked and versioned (see Versioning). Users are advised not to use data appearing on this website for their publications until Version 1.00 is published as any data changes prior to Version 1.00 will not be archived. Registered users will be updated on timing of this release. In the interim, when citing the Beta version users should add 'DRAFT' to the normal citation format (see 'Cite this page' in the bottom banner of all pages).

Scientific and functional modifications and additions will continue to be added during this time and FAQs will be updated in response to user feedback. Registered users will be informed of major changes or enhancements. In particular, the following specific areas will be addressed:

  • Taxonomic issues will be reviewed in response to user feedback
  • Species distribution data will be modified as confirmation and assessment continue, and particularly in response to user feedback
  • References will be added as they are finalised
  • Printing and saving to pdf functionality will be added
  • Help will be added in response to user needs
  • Map layers will be added, including layers requested by users (additional functionality in future developments will allow users to upload and modify layers of their choice)
  • Data robustness. Data reliability varies widely from species to species and region to region. Significant guidance on robustness of included data will be added in the form of robustness categories and narrative to assist in the accurate use of this website

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Future directions: in response, in preparation, or in development

Note that all remaining items are support and resource dependent, and are not in a defined order.

  • Coral ID. This previously published interactive identification key (Veron and Stafford-Smith, 2002) is currently undergoing development for the website and will incorporate new species and science
  • Distribution data refinements. Following the Beta period, as distribution data are further refined and confirmed, further data layers will be added to provide the user with greater guidance about data points
  • Other species. Additional factsheets will be added for possibly valid species, recognised unnamed species and locally recognised species whose taxonomy has not yet been fully explored. Requests from users will be accommodated wherever feasible (please forward requests, detailed information and images via the feedback page)
  • Additional factsheet pages for all species will be added as they are finalised. These include, among others: detailed species descriptions; focussed similar species analyses; taxonomic history, including current morphological and molecular issues; species-specific environmental preferences; species-specific recorded and anecdotal records of change due to environmental pressures and climate change; conservation status; user defined species-specific pages; and species-specific references. User requests will be accommodated wherever it is possible to do so
  • Genera factsheets will be added
  • Abundance maps. Substantial abundance data based on surveys using consistent sampling methods are available for approximately 700 species and a quarter of all IndoPacific ecoregions. These data will be added to Coral Geographic maps as funding for their completion becomes available
  • Recording change. Various enhancements will be added to assist in recording species-specific changes on temporal and spatial scales
  • Significantly enhanced user-defined capabilities. User capacity to add user-defined factsheet pages, lists, map layers, images. Upload and share GIS located images, information, lists and data within and between teams
  • GIS mapping module. This will include ongoing refinement of species distributions to finer levels, capacity to integrate and modify user defined layers and spatial interrogation of data.
  • Coral Enquirer. This final module is intended as a multipurpose tool that combines the spatial information in Coral Geographic with an array of environmental and species specific traits, life histories, environmental sensitivities and ocean circulation patterns. It will provide users with the capacity to answer complex questions about all reef building corals at species level and offer detailed insights into their biology, management and conservation

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