1. Architecture of DOPA

Biodiversity data are particularly difficult to manage at the global scale as the volume of information is huge and at the same time very fragmented. Biodiversity is one of the 9 key themes by which the activities of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) are organised. GEO-BON, the Biodiversity Observation Network contributing to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), is therefore aiming to integrate biodiversity data by bringing together the large variety of sensors, databases and systems. DOPA is an example of such a system of GEO-BON where a set of distributed key databases and open, interoperable web based services are designed to provide decision makers and researchers with means to assess and monitor the state and pressure of protected areas at the global scale. Data on protected areas, species distributions, socio-economic indicators are therefore combined with remote sensing information which can so be used anywhere to generate the necessary environmental indicators, maps and alerts and all this, without requiring any sophisticated local infrastructure.

During the design of the information systems for the DOPA, one of the key considerations was for the analyses to be published as soon as they have been created with very little effort on the part of the data analyst. One can distinguish two types of services: spatial and non-spatial web services.

2. DOPA Web services

Spatial Web Services

All spatial products are available as a set of OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) standard web services published through an industry standard system called 'Geoserver'. These services are all available from the Geoserver directory here:

(Under reorganisation)

These services can be consumed in Desktop GIS tools and also incorporated into web sites. For more information on using OGC Web Services see the specific documentation that comes with the specific software.

Non-spatial Web Services

For non-spatial datasets, a custom web server was developed that allows products that have been created to be published simply by creating a query in the database. These resources are then available from an automatically generated set of web pages that publish the products as Representational State Transfer (REST) services.

REST Services are simply information products that are available to users as a URL - information on what data to retrieve and in which format is all part of the URL. This makes REST Services very easy to consume in many different types of application and tools - enabling the services to get maximum penetration into the conservation community. The services can be used in Desktop tools, e.g. Microsoft Excel, custom web sites and also support delivery of information as SMS, PDF and email. However, in many cases the actual end points to the REST services are intended to be used for computer-to-computer exchange of data, for example in the creation of a web site, rather than for direct reading by a user.

The DOPA REST Services are available from the DOPA REST Services Directory here:

(Under reorganisation)

This is the main gateway to all the non-spatial web services for the DOPA and new analyses will appear here as and when they are developed and published. Under each main schema, e.g. eSpecies, eHabitat etc. are listed all of the individual Web Services that provide access to a specific piece of information. It should be emphasised that the services that are published through the directory are intended for computer-to-computer communication and data exchange. Although the service results can be viewed in a browser they are targeted at other clients (for example web sites of desktop tools) which can render the results in a better format for viewing and interacting.

3. External services

You will find hereafter other sites providing web services that are relevant to biodiversity conservation:

- A Biodiversity Catalogue of web services developed by the EU Funded BioVel project: see https://www.biodiversitycatalogue.org/
- UNEP's web services http://geodata.grid.unep.ch/webservices/