Pick a species—any species. Say, for example, the heath fritillary, Melitaea athalia.
Type the name into any search box and go to the occurrence results. At the top of the results table you’ll see some view or tab options, the first being ‘Gallery’. What you’ll see is the result of your search for Melitaea athalia filtered to show only those occurrences that include images.
The GBIF communications team has worn this feature out since our colleagues in informatics released it on the early-release demo last year, and we don’t think we’ll be alone in this for long. Late last year, Donat Agosti, myrmecologist and president of Plazi (a Geneva-based GBIF participants), responded to it with the suggestion that this ‘functionality will become the most authoritative access to images of specimens’.
We’ll leave that for the collections and data user communities to decide. But in the meantime, it’s worth noting that Donat’s screenshot offers another measure of progress. Replicate his search today—all preserved specimen records of plants—and you’ll see that the GBIF network of participants and publishers has added references to nearly 1.4 million more photo-ready occurrences since November.