Saving Biodiversity Data
With the strap-line ‘Biodiversity Needs Data’, reBIND is a fantastic new initiative of the Botanic Gardens and Museum in Berlin funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) that responds to the reality that many scientists collate valuable biodiversity datasets which are then stored on their personal hard-drives or archived on media which become out of date (remember Zip drives!). As a result, important ‘legacy’ data sets are being lost, or at risk of being lost, as scientists retire, change office or clear out their lofts.
The aim of reBIND is simple: to provide the tools to integrate isolated databases into an institutional data curation strategy. To this end, the reBIND team is developing workflows that combine software tools for transforming data stored in outdated database systems into well-documented, standardized, and commonly understood XML-formats with a system for storing, documenting, and publishing the information as a web service.
It’s a neat idea and wonderfully explained in this innovative and engaging video.