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I once came across a website offering datasets of animal (mainly birds) sightings from all over the globe. If I remember correctly that data was combined from different sources, including crowd-sourced locations (some observations had a column with free text such as "saw it in the garden of my hotel in Addis").

I can't seem to find that data set anymore. Does anyone know this or a comparable dataset?

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There are quite a few wildlife mapping datasets out there, and growing. Narrowing it down to species' is hit or miss, but if its a hit, you will be happily rewarded, as this data tends to be high quality, and uniquely interesting. Here's a few, look at JellyWatch in particular:
BirdCast
BirdTrack
Christmas Bird Count
North American Breeding Bird Survey
JellyWatch - Jellyfish Sightings Tracker - this one has user comments as mentioned in the question
Jellyfish Sightings CSV

EDIT (some related background layers):
World Wildlife Fund Science Data and Tools - Not wildlife tracking, but wildlife related
USFWS GIS datasets have more layers for US, and a few wildlife sets too

  • Thank you, this is quite a nice list, I was after larger datasets, covering the whole globe (and possibly more species), but I think your answer answers my question and might be useful to a future passerby – sheß Mar 9 '16 at 3:51
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    Thank you also for your edit. I find it weird though that there's not more fine-grained data available to study biodiversity. One would expect that all studies that record animal/insect sightings make their data available after using it themselves. – sheß Mar 9 '16 at 8:49
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    np...and yes, one would, but never underestimate the power of greed. ;) – albert Mar 9 '16 at 19:16
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Map of Life: https://www.mol.org/about

This resource integrates point observations, species range maps, and assessment of reserves (forthcoming). This database integrates data from GBIF as well with protected areas and ecoregion maps.

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I just found: http://gbif.org/. Which seems to be what I had in mind, nonetheless, if someone else finds something useful to add to the list, I'd be happy.

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