Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Diversity Workbench – Import Wizards
Markus Weiss, Anton Link, Wolfgang Reichert, Veronica Sanz, Gerhard Rambold, Dagmar Triebel

Building: Elmia Congress Centre, Jönköping
Room: Rum 10
Date: 2014-10-30 02:15 PM – 02:20 PM
Last modified: 2014-10-03


The Diversity Workbench (DWB) is a virtual research environment and platform for the management, curation, quality control and analysis of data in biodiversity, ecological and environmental research. The DWB framework includes a set of Microsoft SQL Server databases and tools for data import, editing, maintenance and storage. It provides a sophisticated user right management and history control. The DWB source code is available under the GPL v. 2.0 license. The code repository, documentations, manuals and a download centre are accessible under www.diversityworkbench.net. An application for smartphones designed for biologists monitoring data in the field is available (www.diversitymobile.net). Installations of the system may be run locally or by remote database access achieved via internet. The DWB installation at the SNSB IT Center serves more than 40 projects with around 120 users.

The interoperability, flexibility and scalability are the result of a conceptual design relying on data domains addressing content areas (e.g. collection and observation data, sampling plots, terminologies, taxonomies etc.). Each of the12 modules may be installed as a stand-alone application or interlinked by external identifiers (URIs) with one or more of the other 11 modules. This makes the management system appropriate for individual researchers, for research groups and for large research projects as well as institutional data centres.

Extended DWB installations at data repositories like those of Germany's major natural history collections and those set up as part of the infrastructure of the ’German Federation for the Curation of Biological Data (GFBio)’ (www.gfbio.net) provide services for processing data for ingestion as well as preservation, access and publication.

In the Demo session we will provide an overview on the DWB components. In addition, we will demonstrate the easy-to-use tools which guide data mapping and manage the data import from tab-separated text files into the relational databases.

All import wizards are based on the same code library with adaptions to particular data domains of the respective addressed database modules. They provide the possibility for data import, update and merging. During the import data may be transformed according to schemas which can be saved as presets for reuse.

The DiversityCollection import tool organises mapping and import of observation events, contextual observation and collection data, molecular barcoding data etc. It allows for the import of more than 530 fields in 34 tables.

The import tool for DiversitySamplingPlots has been optimized for mapping geographic and geo-related contextual information assigned to user-defined plots and space elements (i. e. altitude, exposition, assignments to geo- and ecosystems). Resources like images and shape files, e.g. in ArcView format or created with the DWB GIS editor, can be imported and managed as well.

The import wizard of DiversityDescriptions organises the selective subsequent import of two or more linked data tables (at least one for the descriptions of items and one for the descriptors/ characters/ attributes).