DataClasses - AtlasOfLivingAustralia/ala-datamob Wiki


aspects common to biodiversity data:

  1. what (taxonomy)
  2. when (temporal)
  3. where (spatial)
  4. who (collectors)
  5. (and sometimes why, e.g. symbiosis)

sub-systems of the atlas, where data surface

i.e. appear, or are made accessible :

  1. biocache - - the main specimens+sightings database
  2. spatial portal - - the geographical information system (gis), which shares a common backend with the biocache and allows users to cross-reference the species observation data with contextual (dots, lines, boxes, polygons...) and environmental (measurements+facts, classifications, opinions...) data; see for a list of layers
  3. biodiversity information explorer (bie) - - stores the profile data for taxa (descriptions, taxonomy, synonymy, common names, multimedia, ...)
  4. collectory - - stores information on most data providers
  5. volunteer portal - - a collaborative tool for users to help collections, particularly with transcription of labels, etc.
  6. morphbank - - the australian node of the morphbank distributed network of images & multimedia
  7. ... not an exhaustive list

different kinds of data

the sub-systems may be aware of many logical classes of data:

  1. species' observation data (what+when+where+who)
  2. species' profile data (what+who, what+where, what+why)
  3. resource descriptions (who, what)
  4. spatial (environmental) data (where)
observations profile data resources spatial
biocache 1 2
spatial portal 3 4
morphbank 5 6
bie 7 8
collectory 9

classes of data relate to each other

some of these (types, kinds) of data can be related through common dimensions (or aspects, facets, natural keys, ...):

Relate... observations profile data spatial layers
to observations through preparations, derivation, digitisation, biological relationships, collectors, collection events, statistical analysis identification, associations (explicit or inferred) location desc./coordinates, environmental classification
to profile through taxonomy, inference taxonomy, biological interactions taxonomy
to resources through data provision taxonomic coverage spatial layer metadata
to spatial through location descriptions or coordinates, species distributions, predictive analysis with species' distributions by environmental layer grouping, e.g. median rainfall & max rainfall => 'rainfall'

although there is a number of potential relationships at all intersections, there are common aspects that allow for the relationship to exist; when they are normalised we find ourselves with a list of possible dimensions, common to the kinds of data relevant to biodiversity:

naturally, that wouldn't be complex enough! so follow this link for more specifics as well...