I am currently collating a list of specimens from databases of various natural history museums for further research. However, a well known issue associated with majority of historical data is the lack of appropriate latitude and longitude which prevents one from using that data.
There have been ways to overcome that data - such as drawing a buffer around a region and providing a range of uncertainty associated with that location.
For instance, the function - biogeomancer from the package 'spatial' in R, automates the process of georeferencing, provided there are a few textual descriptions such as "2 miles west of XYZ". See documentation here.
However, my main concern is in using such a protocol for regions as big as 200 square km. Is there a way one can overcome that issue? I would love to use this rich trove of museum data, provided I can handle the uncertainty associated with its location.
An example of some specimens in my dataset is shown below. Please note that many of them come with mentions of elevation, but most of the records are very vague.
In the comments section, one of you mentioned the purpose of this question and what I tend to achieve from the same.
1. I am interested in how once can reduce the radius of uncertainty from a really wide polygonal region to a smaller radius of uncertainty (if possible).
2. This information will help me carry out future spatial analysis such as species distribution modeling / occupancy modeling for instance.