07/3/14 7:57 PM

Public access to species and ecosystems data

Swedish LifeWatch provides public access to species and ecosystems data derived from research, national inventories, environmental monitoring, natural history museum collections and citizen science. The data is stored in a network of distributed databases but accessible through a single web portal where it can be combined also with geographical, environmental and monitoring data.

The infrastructure builds upon a number of existing databases and data providers. Among these are the Species Observation System (Artportalen), the Swedish GBIF (which in turn contains data from many sources), national databases for marine and freshwater fish data, a database for telemetric data, a database on parameterized species traits (natural history and ecological), plus marine observation data, marine climate data and a database for micro-plankton at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. More will follow, including a database under development (based on Specify) for all Swedish natural history museums, as well as climate and other abiotic data.

A dynamic database, Dyntaxa, handling all taxonomic concepts (with global unique identifiers) and names of taxa known from Sweden constitutes the taxonomic backbone of the infrastructure.

The Analysis Portal for Biodiversity Data enables free access to all data provided by the infrastructure, together with a range of analytical services. Data can also be accessed directly through web services.

A central part of the Swedish LifeWatch infrastructure and one of the largest data providers is the Swedish Species Observation System (Artportalen). The Species Observation System, hosted by the Swedish Species Information Centre (ArtDatabanken), is an Internet-based, freely accessible reporting system and data repository for species observations, used by scientists, citizen scientists, governmental agencies and county administrations. The system handles reports of geo-referenced species observations of almost all major organism groups from all environments, including terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats. The database has expanded exponentially since its launch in year 2000 and currently holds c. 60 million recorded observations. Each night all new reports are forwarded to the Swedish LifeWatch.

Swedish LifeWatch also offers a flexible solution for researchers to gain secure long-term storage and administration of research data within the infrastructure, enabling the data to be re-used in other contexts.


The Analysis portal

All data within the SLW infrastructure is freely accessible in the Analysis Portal for Biodiversity Data. The Analysis Portal provides functions for selecting, aggregating and exploring data, as well as tools for temporal and spatial analysis, and for creating prediction models. Users may also access environmental data, metadata and manuals for using applications and work-flows.

At the Portal, it is also possible to upload own data, GIS-layers and maps to utilize the capacities of the Portal. Links to other resources being developed within SLW or in cooperation are also provided, including Plankton Tool Box, WRAM, and workflows developed by BioVeL.