GBIF (home page) has been a great development over last few years, not only for the taxonomists but also to the laymen, in particular to eFI.
There has been issues in the past in identifications, when we do not get images of a species in discussion, on net. Even in many cases descriptions may not be available on net or the related links/ websites may not be working. Sometimes there are only wrong images and sometimes a mixture of the two, on net causing confusion.
Now GBIF has come to a great relief for all of us. It has sometimes numerous specimens to even show diversity/ variations available in a particular species. 
If I have to check many species listed in a particular area, GBIF is my first authentic choice. It gives a great sense of confidence in the identification. Due to this, we are able to identify and add many new species, along with reducing our dependence on experts in the related area/ families.  
Hope more & more of our members use it in future for authentic identifications.

Thank you for this link …, it is going to be such a good resource.


It seems to be very useful to us.


 

Earlier we have problems in finding images or specimens on net on searching for many species, particularly rare ones.

If we wanted to check if the posted plant may be a particular species, we were stuck with it, on not finding any thing substantial on it on net.
But all this changed a few years back with GBIF. All those problems we faced, disappeared.
Now we can easily search all the species with a few clicks and match our posted plants with these. It is also much more reliable as images on net may be misidentified at many sites, causing confusion.
Many a times I have checked tens of species at a time, in the absence of keys on net, to arrive at tentative id and than confirming with detailed description.
Thanks to GBIF, it is now not so difficult to get the identification now, in so many cases. We have to just search at this link. When ever I get stuck, I go to GBIF to sort it out.
Most of the accepted names and synonyms in GBIF, are based on Catalogue of Life. It is also wonderful because it shows specimens of many synonyms separately on going to gallary, in case somebody wants to see specimen of a particular synonym e.g. at this link, we see specimens of Lindenbergia muraria and Lindenbergia ruderalis under Lindenbergia muraria page.
Now a days, images are also added from iNaturalist. And these are shown at the starting, showing the growing importance of images over herbarium specimens. But one has to be careful, as many of images may not be correct.
We are slowly and slowly waking up to the beautiful world of herbarium specimens.


Yes …! I agree. We can get help sometimes from POWO to cross check and  verify our sp. with herbarium!


Thanks, … But POWO only shows low resolution specimens, that too very few.


Very true, almost all information is available online to clear any doubts.


But what is missing sadly is BSI Flora of India. Once they put most of the volumes which were finalised by them for some time. And it was very useful to understand BSI point of view. Bur sadly it has gone away within no time.


Yes I agree, both GBIF and POWO has improved since past few years and hence more informations are available at both websites. 

As such we do not need to the what taxonomy BSI follows, as most of the times either they follow POWO or they have very often their own view point to which no one agrees. So as long as you follow POWO or GBIF, you will the updated taxonomy.

Recently I have had no problems for image of any specimen I needed from BSI. I just sent them an email and they responded positively. Which means, they did scan most of their specimens or it must be an ongoing process, however, they have not uploaded these images on any online platform or GBIF.


I agree with you … about use of GBIF in terms of image gallery for every species’ page they have. There are herbaria as well as photographs. Very good for comparing between species. The distribution map however does not give a complete picture for all species. It is dependent on the photos gathered from iNaturalist website.


Thanks, … I think distribution map shows the observations based on both specimens and images available in the database.


 

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