Workpackage 01

Member of the

Freshwater Information Platform

Workpackage 01

Building the Web-Based Freshwater Biodiversity Information Platform

Responsible Institute: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)

Key Products and Outcome:

  • Data portal with integrated models and tools
  • Federated system of interoperable databases
  • Cooperating consortium of data custodians and concerned international initiatives


Graphical representation of the BioFresh Freshwater Biodiversity Information Platform


WP1 will construct the BioFresh information platform that consists of a data portal enabling querying of a distributed network of interoperable databases holding information on freshwater biodiversity, and integrated predictive models, indices and other tools relevant to users (including those developed in WP4-7), whether in science, management, conservation or policy. Fundamental to the project is the philosophy of providing free and universal access to information, unless there are compelling arguments (scientific, strategic, conservation) to restrict access on a temporal, geographical or other basis. Data types covered will be as diverse as relevant, and will range from taxonomy to socio-economical and physical datasets. At first, only databases held by project partners will be integrated.

In order to ensure that the BioFresh portal can be linked to other biodiversity information initiatives and be integrated in a global information network on biodiversity, we will only use open-source technology and we will adhere to the standards and tools proposed by global initiatives such as GBIF, TDWG and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). These include, amongst others, the ABCD and DarwinCore2 data schemes, CERIF and DIF format from the Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) for metadata, DiGIR/TAPIR and BioCase as web access protocols, and integrating WMS and WFS as basic web services. As GBIF’s generic data portal scheme will be used as the basis for the BioFresh data portal, developments proposed by GBIF will be closely followed and implemented. Experience gained as the Belgian node of GBIF and during the development of the marine biodiversity network of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR-MarBIN) will be instrumental.