The Belgian Biodiversity Platform promotes the use of the following Biodiversity Informatics tools:
"Publishing Software" are tools used to publish your data on the Internet. The Integrated Publishing Toolkitwas developed by GBIF as “a software platform to facilitate the efficient publishing of biodiversity data on the Internet, using the GBIF network”.
The four classes of datasets are currently supported by GBIF:
IPT uses the DarwinCore Archive format to make your dataset available to GBIF network. An added-value of the IPT is the innovative service it offers to scientists: the faculty to generate database-derived data papers, a simple technique that facilitates the publication of papers in scientific journals. Other Publishing Software are Digir, TapirLink and BioCase (supporting DarwinCore and/or ABCD).
The Belgian Biodiversity Platform is an avid user of Geographic Information System (GIS), a discipline of informatics applied to geography. A GIS is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present all types of geographically referenced data. All data published by the Belgian Biodiversity Platform are stored in a tool called “PostGIS”, which is a tool that manages GIS data. Geographic tools allow the IT experts of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform to customize geographic maps to showcase biodiversity data. For instance, the map of the Belgian Data Portal is made by using a map freely available on OpenStreetMap.
Data cleaning tools
“Data Cleaning” is one of the steps required in the manipulation of biodiversity data that aims to check data quality. Tools used in the data cleaning process were created to detect omission, typographic, convention and coherence errors. As such, a data cleaning tool would detect spelling mistakes or identify when a sign of a geographic latitude is incorrect, etc. These data cleaning tools help to detect and correct any mistake that can be found in a dataset to ensure good quality of biodiversity data.
The Belgian Biodiversity Platform is familiar with Darwin Test, a software application that checks and validates records from tables in a DarwinCore or DarwinCore Archive format. Other data cleaning tools exist. A list is available on the Belgian Data Portal. Training manuals and background information on data quality and best practice are available through the GBIF Online Resource Center and through the Spanish node website on data quality.