Dear Lifemapper Community and Collaborators:
The Lifemapper Project Team has decided to make several significant changes to the Project as part of a new two-year design and re-implementation effort.
Probably the most significant change for most of you is that we are going to eliminate the distributed computation component and disable communications with the Lifemapper clients within a few weeks time–around the first of the new year.
The DC architecture has been very productive and until now critical for computing LM’s GARP prediction models. We gratefully thank each and everyone of you for your enthusiasm as collaborators operating LM’s distributed computing clients. We know how much your processing has contributed; the environmental biology community is in your debt for the cycles you volunteered and the models you computed.
At the moment the number of jobs being executed is outpacing the availability of new museum data. Unlike SETI, with an unlimited supply of radio astronomy signals, LM is dependent on source data from museum computerization projects. Currently that is our primary constraint for generating models for additional species. Not enough museums are coming online fast enough for us to take advantage of all of the power you and your collaborators are providing.
We intend to re-architect the LM species data archive, but we’ll keep the models you computed online until we restart the computation engines and gradually update the current models with those derived from museum data coming out next year and beyond. In the future, LM will use computational resources of a cluster we operate for modeling at the University of Kansas.
We plan to evolve LM into more research-oriented uses, migrating from a passive public archive model to a set of pluggable web services for environmental research applications, e.g. for cleaning and verifying spatial attributes of museum specimen locality information.
On behalf of the scientific, educational, and public users of the LM geospatial species data archive, thank you again for your dedication, perseverance, commitment and accomplishment. Because of you, LM is still the best and only general archive of species distribution niche models. We plan to build upon that success and experience.
Lifemapper, Project Director