GBIF Spain released its new national biodiversity data portal on Friday, November 28, at an event at Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC in Madrid. The new site—http://datos.gbif.es—provides free access to more than 10 million biodiversity records from 69 Spanish institutions and projects as well as nearly another million records of biodiversity in Spain published by institutions abroad.
The new GBIF Spain site builds on an open-source system originally developed by the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), and represents the first of several results expected from this year’s collaborations across the GBIF network.
In February, the GBIF Secretariat and ALA invited external review of ALA’s highly refined and successful web application to evaluate whether its streamlined and repackaged core could be adopted to establish other biodiversity data portals. The effort to simplify, share and reuse this technology aimed to reduce development costs for GBIF’s nodes and expand capacity across the network through technology transfer and knowledge exchange.
In June, the ALA team issued an open invitation to developers to participate in a technical workshop in Canberra. The July workshop hosted 10 visitors representing not only GBIF Spain and the Secretariat, but also GBIF Argentina, GBIF France, INBio (host of GBIF’s Costa Rican node), the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and São Paulo University. Attendees gained skills in installing and using the ALA tools and kicked off collaborative development efforts geared toward increasing its functionality in line with needs expressed by the workshop participants.
The new GBIF Spain website enables its users to filter, access, visualize and download data from research institutes, universities, public administrations and NGOs from all over country. It also provides detailed information for each dataset, facilitates custom taxonomic, geographic, temporal and other searches. Designed to support linking and reuse by external databases, the new site customized the ALA code base to serve Spanish-language users. GBIF Spain has contributed these localized customizations back to the open-source project.
GBIF Spain is sponsored by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, which commissioned the management of national activities in GBIF to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC—Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas). In addition to the support and participation of Spain’s dozens of data publishers, the IFCA (Instituto de Física de Cantabria) was essential to the creation of the new site.