Search This Blog

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Mapping information from Paleobiology and Global Biodiversity databases in OpenWebGIS

This article tells about working with Databases Paleobiology Database (PaleoBioDB) and The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) using an open source Geographic information system OpenWebGIS. This is a brief description of the databases (DBs) from these projects websites:
«The Paleobiology Database (PaleoBioDB) is a non-governmental, non-profit public resource for paleontological data. It has been organized and operated by a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, international group of paleobiological researchers. Its purpose is to provide global, collection-based occurrence and taxonomic data for organisms of all geological ages, as well data services to allow easy access to data for independent development of analytical tools, visualization software, and applications of all types. The Database’s broader goal is to encourage and enable data-driven collaborative efforts that address large-scale paleobiological questions.» 

«The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international open data infrastructure, funded by governments. It allows anyone, anywhere to access data about all types of life on Earth, shared across national boundaries via the Internet. By encouraging and helping institutions to publish data according to common standards, GBIF enables research not possible before, and informs better decisions to conserve and sustainably use the biological resources of the planet. GBIF operates through a network of nodes, coordinating the biodiversity information facilities of Participant countries and organizations, collaborating with each other and the Secretariat to share skills, experiences and technical capacity.
GBIF's vision: "A world in which biodiversity information is freely and universally available for science, society and a sustainable future."»

The data selecting from these DBs and mapping the results using OpenWebGIS was discussed in the following articles: "The information tools (data base and GIS) to help paleontologists in their scientific researches", "New feature of OpenWebGIS - mapping data from GBIF, and new Contributor".  From the article "200 million years of the dinosaurs life (sauropods) in a few seconds on the map" the following conclusion can be made, that in OpenWebGIS it is possible not only to visualize on the map data from these databases but also analyze it without using other software.

Currenlly OpenWebGIS team continues to optimize and increase the convenience to users of selecting and mapping this information. Previously only few fields were sampled from the Paleobiology Database, but now all fields are selected (See Figure 1). 
Figure 1 - Selection option from Paleobiology Database, result of mapping and attribute table of the result layer
In the resulting attribute table of layer from GBIF there are now photos of species (See Figure 2).
Figure 2 - Selection option from Global Biodiversity Information Facility, result of mapping and attribute table of the result layer

The sampling process has become more flexible (e.g. it is not necessary to insert the scientific name of species). Using the peculiar features (they use CORS technology) of these DBs, now in OpenWebGIS you have an opportunity to work with them, not only in the online (web) version but also in the local version and Android OpenWebGIS (of course in case your Internet connection is alive). 
OpenWebGIS team would like to express our clear positive attitude to these databases. They make it possible to select and work with information that is interesting for professionals, scientists and for a wide range of people. Perhaps many of you will be excited by the touch of real and understandable information about the biological past and present of our world. We urge all to use these databases and help them in their development and contributing data.

From the programmers' point of view, PaleoBioDB and GBIF have a very convenient, simple and easy-to-use application programming interface (API). Please see information about PaleoBioDB API and GBIF API.

We would like to thank PaleoBioDB and GBIF teams. We appreciate their efforts and we are grateful to the creators and participants of these projects.
We would like also to mention some new updates in OpenWebGIS. In Android version the opportunity has recently appeared to test the new interface and now it is more convenient to use attribute tables (its size is adaptive now) of the layers.

We remind that the last new version app for your mobile devices is always available for downloading at and at Google Drive. But as a rule there are some older versions at,, OpenWebGIS app is not published at Google Play so far, but we are planning to do it.
The OpenWebGIS blog and a full list of articles about OpenWebGIS provide a lot of information about possibilities and specific features of OpenWebGIS.

Yours sincerely, OpenWebGIS team.

No comments:

Post a Comment