Standards

The European Biodiversity portal is a open-access platform for sharing, integrating and analyzing biodiversity data. The various types of data we are dealing with are of very different structure and, most important, are currently at different levels of standardisation. As data are originating from many sources, adoption of standards is crucial to enable interoperability.
In the standards repository you will find an overview of existing standards and protocols. Search is possible on Acronym, Domain and full text search in description (body) field.

Under Domain we understand the object of application of the standard (e.g: data structure, query protocol).
Standard Format is the format of the document implementing the standard (e.g: XML, RDF, etc..).

Additional resources:

TDWG standards
GEOSS Standards registry
EU BON D2.1: Architectural design, review and guidelines for using standards


Standard acronyms:

RDF is a model for data exchange on the Web based on a directed, labelled graph where the edges represent the named link between two (named) resources, represented by the graph nodes.


REST is a particular architecture style for the design of networked applications. In contrast to more complex mechanisms such as CORBA, RPC or SOAP for connecting between machines, simple HTTP is used. For example, with a network of Web pages (a virtual state-machine), navigation through an application is by selecting links (state transitions), which results in the next page (representing the next state of the application) being transferred to the user and displayed. The World Wide Web itself, based on HTTP, can be considered as a REST-based architecture. RESTful applications use HTTP requests for all four CRUD (Create/Read/Update/Delete) operations used for persistent storage.


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SDD is an XML-based TDWG standard for capturing and managing descriptive data about organisms.

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SOAP is a protocol specification for exchanging structured information between programs running in the same or another kind of an operating system (such as Windows or Linux) by using the HTTP protocol and and Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the mechanisms for information exchange. Web protocols are installed and available for use by all major operating system platforms and SOAP specifies how to encode and responde to an HTTP header and an XML file. An advantage of SOAP is that program calls through HTTP requests are usually allowed through firewall servers that screen out requests, thus allowing programs using SOAP to communicate with programs anywhere.

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SPARQL is a query language for databases, designed to retrieve and manipulate data stored in Resource Description Framework (RDF) format. It is an official W3C Recommendation and is recognized as one of the key technologies of the Semantic Web. Implementations for multiple programming languages already exist. The SPARQL Protocol consists of two HTTP operations: a "query operation" for performing SPARQL Query Language queries and an "update operation" for performing SPARQL Update Language requests. SPARQL Protocol clients send HTTP requests to SPARQL Protocol services that handle the request and send HTTP responses back to the originating client.


Designed as a generic tool that can be applied to domains other than biodiversity and natural science collections data, TAPIR is a specification for accessing structured data on distributed databases using HTTP for transport and XML for encoding messages and data. It combines and extends the features of DiGIR and BioCASe protocols to create a new and more generic means of communication between client applications and data providers using the Internet.

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TCS provides a standard for taxon names and taxon concepts in the exchange and integration of biodiversity and natural history data." The majority of elements in TCS are optional to allow for the variety of different approaches to defining and recording taxonomic names and concepts, hence TCS allows more choices if an expert simultaneously authors concepts AND asserts concept relationships.

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VegCSV is an extension of Darwin Core for plots data.


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Veg-X is an exchange schema for vegetation plot data under development through the TDWG Vegetation Observations Data Exchange Task Group.

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WSDL is a proposal submitted to the W3C for an XML format "for describing network services as a set of endpoints operating on messages containing either documentoriented or procedure-oriented information. The operations and messages are described abstractly, and then bound to a concrete network protocol and message format to define an endpoint." Different network messaging protocols can thus be used, e.g., SOAP, HTTP.

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