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Determining Space from Place for Natural History Collections (10 May 2004)
Every specimen has an associated core set of data that answers what, when, how, and where. A taxonomic name indicates the object's biological identity, the "collecting method" specifies how it was collected, and a list of one or more "collectors" indicates who collected it and when. While modern collectors are usually able to provide geospatial references in the form of coordinates derived from the Global Positioning System (GPS), the vast majority of specimens collected more than 10 years ago have only a natural language description, a textual georeference, as their specification of place.
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