Advancement in biodiversity theory, new methodologies, and the loss of biodiversity due to human activities have all stimulated basic and applied research aiming for explaining and understanding biodiversity patterns from local to global levels. Important data sources for biodiversity approaches are species inventories and ecosystem surveys. Such data are often commonly produced and archived nationally. Answering basic questions in biodiversity research and ecology, however, requires data independent from administrative boundaries. To overcome such limitations, it is necessary to connect local and regional activities and resulting data by international efforts. One of these important initiatives is the Global

Biodiversity Information Facility, GBIF, which encourages and offers free and open access to biodiversity data. Another limitation, despite networking across boundaries, is that data are often of different qualities and far from complete (Graham et al., 2004; Isaac et al., 2004). Thus, such common platforms have to be complemented by targeted international activities that arrive at coordinated data structure and quality to allow for approaching large-scale research questions.