Biodiversity informatics community

The Living Norway Ecological Data Network will build tools, work-flows, ideas and networks from a wide international community of biodiversity informatics infrastructures and organisations. Furthermore, by building on open-source software and code we will contribute back to this community with own developments. As such, Living Norway both depend on, and aim to contribute, to the common goal shared by a global community of biodiversity informatics organisations and infrastructures.

Over the last decade, the field of biodiversity informatics and the sharing of biodiversity data have globally matured towards stable indexing services and standards. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is the largest global aggregator of primary biodiversity data, indexing and making available more than a billion individual records on species occurrences in a structured format compliant with FAIR principles.

The infrastructure is funded by the world’s governments and was established in 2001 after recommendations from OECD. Norway has been a member since 2004, and participation is organized through the Norwegian GBIF node. In close alignment with GBIF, the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) was established in 2007 due to a need for an integrated Australian platform for management and sharing of biodiversity data. The project follows an open development (OD) model facilitating collaborative development and encourage wider adoption of the software. The ALA platform is fully integrated into the GBIF datastream, and is in collaboration with national GBIF nodes so far implemented in 13 countries with several others in progress.

There is an active ongoing international process to establish a formal global Living Atlas community. Sharing and indexing of biodiversity data depends upon standards. Most prominent among those is Darwin Core, maintained by Biodiversity Information Standards, which is a not-for-profit, scientific and educational association focuses on the development of standards for the exchange of biological and biodiversity data. The group is affiliate of the International Union of Biological Science. Members of the biodiversity community generally refer to this group as TDWG (pronounced tad-wig) – a reminder of its earlier manifestation as the Taxonomic Databases Working Group.

On a European level, LifeWatch-ERIC is a Infrastructure Consortium providing e-Science research facilities to scientists seeking to increase our knowledge and deepen our understanding of Biodiversity organisation and Ecosystem functions and services in order to support civil society in addressing key planetary challenges. LifeWatch-ERIC was established as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium by the European Commission. Nordic collaboration is promoted through  DEEPDIVE, a project funded the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC). The aim of the project is to facilitate and to intensify collaboration on e-Infrastructure topics for biodiversity informatics in the Nordic-Baltic region.