Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) is a not-for-profit, scientific and educational association formed to establish international collaboration among the creators, managers and users of biodiversity information. It acts to promote the wider and more effective dissemination and sharing of knowledge about the world’s heritage of biological organisms.
Data standards that describe and support the exchange of biodiversity information are critical to scientific infrastructure. They enable data to be integrated in support of research, as well as decision-making and conservation planning. Ultimately, standards extend the usability of data across taxa, scientific disciplines, and administrative boundaries.
The annual Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) conferences serve two purposes:
- to provide a forum for developing, refining, and extending standards in response to new challenges and opportunities; and
- to provide a showcase for biodiversity informatics – much of which relies on the standards created by TDWG and other organisations.
Gaia Resources has been involved with this international standards body for some time, either utilising their data standards in various projects, developing modules for TDWG itself, or actively participating in their standards development.
While with the Western Australian Herbarium, I and other scientists worked on a number of TDWG standards (notably HISPID, ABCD, SDD and DELTA) and was the Oceania representative of TDWG for 6 years, culminating in hosting the 2008 annual conference in Fremantle, part-sponsored by Gaia Resources and Piers a valuable organising committee member.
This year’s virtual conference will be scheduled the week of October 19-23 and some of our team will be participating in various sessions. I would commend attending this conference if you’re keen to keep up with the latest work of this dedicated global community.
If you’d like to know more about Gaia Resources involvement and use of biodiversity information standards then please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.