Tag Archives: GBIF

Getting current datetime in ISO format in MySQL

Here is the MySQL function to use to get the current datetime as ISO 8601 format as asked in DarwinCore:


DATE_FORMAT() is obviously a function for formatting date and time, and we are using here %Y for four-digit year, %m for two-digits month, %d for two-digits day and %T for 24-hour time (hh:mm:ss). NOW() gives the current datetime.

And then you get a nice figure like this one:


Note that the same result can be achieved with:

Where CONCAT() is used for concatenating strings, and CURDATE() and CURTIME() give respectively the current date and the current time.

Talking to 200 persons at once

I had a talk this morning for presenting the new portal of GBIF-Sweden to the employees of the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

I talked in Cosmonova, which is a huge dome-theater, and that was really impressive to be there. It was a little bit weird as well since the public was in the darkness, I couldn’t see if people were interested or not.

So I presented our new portal. It features a search function: you can now search among 16 millions of records of specimens and observations from swedish databases. You can see the result as a list of occurences, or displayed on a map, at least for records with coordinates.

It contains also news and documents about GBIF.

On the microformat front, the portal uses geo each time a record has coordinates. So if you have Operator installed, and if the map we provide doesn’t fit you or you want to see the location with satellite pictures, you just need to right click and go to the map provider you like (Google or Yahoo!)

The URL is http://www.gbif.se

It’s all in swedish :-)

Embedding a GBIF distribution map in a web page

Last june GBIF released its new portal. Together with it came a few web services. One of them is the possibility to embed a distribution map in a web page.

Let say you have a special interest in one particular species. It can be the one you’re doing your research on, it can be the one you will teach to your schoolkids, it can simply be that you like this particular species.

Then why not making a web page for presenting this and sharing your interest with others? And why not displaying a map for showing where this animal happens to be?

Fortunately, there is a big network of biodiversity databases out there: GBIF. This network makes more than 146 millions of records available to anyone. The data is about collected specimens or observations. GBIF builds maps from the records provided with coordinates, and it provides a simple way to embed them into a webpage.
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The last race

The last 6 months or so I have been working for revamping the website of GBIF-Sweden.

It is currently a blog from which you can reach different services that we propose (beside the news and documents, we provide the swedish audience with a mapserver and a few other services). The database we use is built from the 15 millions records we deliver to the GBIF network.

We changed the paradigm for our new web site, and soon it will be a portal, from which you can search among our huge database, see occurences on a map, search the web and of course read the news about biodiversity and find documents related to GBIF (I can add as well that I embedded a few microformats).

It has been in beta test for a month now, and the deadline for release is April 10th, 2008. It hope we’ll be ready by then 😉

You can have a look at http://www.gbif.se:8080 [beware : 1/ it’s a temporary link 2/it’s in swedish!]

The Biodiversity Observer

The Biodiversity Observer is a new service we launched last friday at GBIF-Sweden.

Basically you write a species names in latin, you can write which startdate/enddate you want, add some layers, click on “Updatera” and off you go!

The Biodiversity Observer

It’s possible to get a record information by first clicking on the “i” icon and then clicking on a yellow dot on the map. It’s also possible to zoom in, zoom out, come back to the whole map, as well as pan.

It’s AJAX based and runs on top of UMN Mapserver. The database contains more than 12 millions records.

The Biodiversity Observer is in swedish. The only thing you need to know for giving it a try is that “species” in swedish is “art”. Then it should be straightforward.