Ever wonder exactly where grizzly bears live on this continent? Or where you might find Myotis lucifungus, the fuzzy, adorable little brown bat that is currently threatened with extinction because of white-nose syndrome? Now you can track them on Google Maps, thanks to a new program that aims to plot the location of every single living thing on Earth. It's kind of like the Gawker Stalker, only with lemurs instead of Malcolm Gladwell.
This ambitious project, called the Map of Life, uses a Google Maps platform to map the known distribution of 30,000 species of terrestrial vertebrates. Many more are still being added, with the eventual goal of curating hundreds of thousands of plants, birds, fish, reptiles and everything else under the sun. Meanwhile, there’s still plenty to search. The project just opened to the public.
“It is the where and the when of a species,” said Walter Jetz, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, who leads the project.