GBIF Tools

This site formerly held tools for data publishing produced by the Global Biodiversity Facility. See for current tools.

Darwin Core Archive Assistant

The Darwin Core Archive Assistant is a web application that presents a simple interface for describing the data elements a data publisher wishes to serve to the GBIF network as basic text files and composes the appropriate XML descriptor file as defined in the Darwin Core Text Guidelines to accompany them. It communicates with the GBIF registry to provide an up-to-date listing of all relevant Darwin Core terms and available extensions and presents these in a simple checklist format.

The Darwin Core is a body of standards that include a set of terms relating to taxa and their occurrence in nature, and a set of practices regarding the use of these terms in the publication of biodiversity data and information. GBIF has adopted a text-based solution for using Darwin Core that both simplifies and extends the publication of species and species-occurrence data. This format is referred to as a Darwin Core Archive (DWCA) and provides a relatively non-technical option for publishing biodiversity data that does not require complicated installations of data publication software. Darwin Core Archives can be published via a simple web address or URL.

Darwin Core Archives support the publication of enriched data types that extend the core terms while retaining the relatively simple, text-based data format. These extensions, however, require the inclusion of an XML descriptor file (meta.xml) that serves as a map to the different files and data elements in the archive. Many biologists and data managers find working with XML challenging while otherwise finding the technical threshold for producing Darwin Core Archives quite low.