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Workshop: Harmonizing Plot Data with Collection Data

Plot sampling is a widely used method in ecology and biodiversity research. Since natural history collections usually manage their data on specimen level and designed their data standards accordingly, plot based data has different cardinality and concepts. Thus, data schemas designed for a standardized exchange of collection data (like ABCD) can't be efficiently used for plot data and on the other hand ecological data standards (like EML) might not sufficiently cover the storage and preparation of physical collection objects. Data standards for the natural history and ecological/environmental science have been developed in their separated domains, although there is a huge overlap in describing same things such as locality attributes, determinations, traits, metadata on projects, researchers and their affiliations etc.
In practice there are examples in which the disconnection of the data standards might cause issues regarding data management and interoperability, and in which none of the data standards can be applied adequately. Thus, researchers need a compreshensive and flexible standard schema that also defines the relations between the standards of both domains.

In our workshop we are aiming for harmonizing plot data with collection data in order to be able to solve the above-mentioned issues in the upcoming version ABCD 3.0.
We will bring together domain experts of natural history collections, biodiversity standards and ecological/environmental science in order to achieve the fine-grained goals:

  • to highlight use-cases on the standardization of plot data and natural history collection data with focus on the practice in data management, interoperability and data exchange in biodiversity research and ecology,
  • to examine the overlap between existing domain-specific data standards,
  • to collect and discuss the requirements on data standard schemas,
  • to outline an approach for harmonizing these data types in ABCD 3.0.

Location: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Room Z1108 (west wing). Please enter the building in entrance 4 (see site plan)
Date: 30.05.2018, 13:00 - 18:00 (CEST)
Language: German

Work report published in Research Ideas and Outcomes!

Petersen M, Glöckler F, Hoffmann J (2019) Harmonizing plot data with collection data. Research Ideas and Outcomes 5: e33509. Link


Workshop Program

12:30 - 13:00 Registration and Coffee
13:00 - 14:30 Thematic Talks Presenter
Welcome and Introduction F. Glöckler & M. Petersen
Background: data standards related to plot and collection data F. Glöckler & M. Petersen
Workshop objectives M. Petersen
Modelling a new data standard - experiences from the Global Genome Biodiversity Network G. Dröge
Indobiosis - A case example F. Glöckler
14:30-15:00 Coffee Break
15:00-16:00 Identification of concepts
interactive working session - checking existing initiatives and standards for relevant concepts
(relevant literature will be provided at the workshop)
Group 1: Ecological ontologies
OBOE - Extensible Observation Ontology (Madin et al. 2007,
Observations and Measurements (Cox 2013,,
Group 2: Humboldt Core & ABCD
(Guralnick et al 2018,
Group 3: Veg-X
(Wiser et al 2011,
Group 4: EML - Ecological Markup Language
16:00-17:00 Development of thematic application schema
interactive working session
17:00-17:30 Discussion & Coffee
17:30-18:00 Outlook: Where to go from now?
Official Closing


Workshop results