Natural history collections, botanical gardens and museums have customized databases for recording their contents and the associated metadata. The use of metadata standards is essential for sharing, exchanging, and publishing data.
OpenUp! serves the community with specialised transformation routines that converts natural history metadata standards to the Europeana data standard (EDM).
This information section introduces to the data standards ABCD(EFG) and DarwinCore for biodiversity information, the LIDO standard for museum objects and the Europeana data model (EDM).
ABCD Schema is a comprehensive XML-based standard for the access to and exchange of natural history collection and observational data. The development of ABCD started in 2001; in 2005 it was ratified as TDWG standard. ABCD allows a detailed, atomized mapping of information about collection specimens and results of observations in the field. Data from any arbitrarily structured database can be mapped using freely available open source software (BioCASE provider software - www.biocase.org). Currently ABCD is used to publish data in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF, www.gbif.org), German Federation for Biological Data (GFBio, www.gfbio.org/), Europeana (www.europeana.eu), etc. The ABCD standard has been extended for the mapping of DNA samples (GGBN, http://terms.tdwg.org/wiki/GGBN_Data_Standard) and mineralogical and paleontological records (EFG, Extended for Geoscience, www.geocase.eu/efg) and is used for their publication in thematic specialized portals (GGBN Portal: http://www.ggbn.org/ggbn_portal/ and GeoCase: www.geocase.eu/).
The Darwin Core is body of standards. It includes a glossary of terms (in other contexts these might be called properties, elements, fields, columns, attributes, or concepts) intended to facilitate the sharing of information about biological diversity by providing reference definitions, examples, and commentaries. The Darwin Core is primarily based on taxa, their occurrence in nature as documented by observations, specimens, samples, and related information. Included are documents describing how these terms are managed, how the set of terms can be extended for new purposes, and how the terms can be used. The normative document for the terms [RDF-NORMATIVE] is written in the Resource Description Framework [RDF] and is the definitive resource to understand the term definitions and their relationships to each other. The Simple Darwin Core [SIMPLEDWC] is a specification for one particular way to use the terms - to share data about taxa and their occurrences in a simply structured way - and is probably what is meant if someone suggests to "format your data according to the Darwin Core".
LIDO is a schema intended for delivering metadata, for use in a variety of online services, from an organization’s online collections database to portals of aggregated resources, as well as exposing, sharing and connecting data on the web. LIDO is not intended to be used as a basis for a collection management system or to support loan and acquisition activities. Its strength lies in its ability to support the full range of descriptive information about museum objects. It can be used for all kinds of object, e.g. art, cultural, technology and natural science.
The Europeana Data Model (hereafter EDM for short) is aimed at being an integration medium for collecting, connecting and enriching the descriptions provided by Europeana’s content providers. EDM is not built on any particular community standard but rather adopts an open, cross-domain Semantic Web-based framework that can accommodate particular community standards such as LIDO, EAD or METS.