VertNet and Holos

The Ecoengine Project and VertNet are both biodiversity informatics initiatives out of UC Berkeley with the shared goal of providing open access to natural history data. These projects are developed with the same interoperable data standards, norms and conceptual guidance. The VertNet portal provides access to over 17 million specimen records and observations of vertebrate species from 274 collections around the world. In addition to specimen records, the Ecoengine data providers provide access to species occurrence data from all of the Berkeley Natural History Museums (BNHM), the University of California Natural Reserve System (UC NRS), environmental sensor data, photographs, soil types, vegetation type mapping, climate and ecoregion data. Both projects are global in scope.

Data Publishing

Collection data are published using the Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT), a tool designed to map different database formats to the standard Darwin Core format. A Darwin Core Archive is a copy of the collection data in a zip file that contains a comma delimited file (CSV) the occurrence records and a metadata file that describes the dataset. The Darwin Core Archive is published to a public URL, which makes the data set accessible to other biodiversity platforms, such as GBIF and the Ecoengine.

The Holos team will be contacting collections on the VertNet network to discuss adding these data to the Ecoengine. As with all data aggregation projects, provenance should be maintained and properly attributed to the originating institution. For more information on how to properly cite data, please see the VertNet data norms page.