The GBIF API is documented at http://www.gbif.org/developer/summary, which also describes the user discussion list. The GBIF Developer's Blog http://gbif.blogspot.co.uk also provides some background on the development of the current version of GBIF.org.
Sources of Inspiration
Here are some sites that might get you started:
- Global Forest Change: http://www.globalforestwatch.org
- e-Biosphere Challenge: visualizing biodiversity digitization in real time http://iphylo.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/e-biosphere-challenge-visualising.html
- GenGIS: http://kiwi.cs.dal.ca/GenGIS/Main_Page
In addition to the GBIF API, several other APIs we’re familiar with may also prove useful to you.
- R wrapper for the GBIF API: http://ropensci.org/tutorials/rgbif_tutorial.html
- Biodiversity Heritage Library: http://biodivlib.wikispaces.com/Developer+Tools+and+API
- NCBI: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK25501
- Encyclopedia of Life (EOL): http://eol.org/api