A move to the UK Atlas

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BDeed
A move to the UK Atlas

As many, if not all readers of this, will already know. The National Biodiversity Network Gateway (the portal by which users can access the wealth of network member data) is due to be decommissioned by the end of March alongside the launch of a new 'Atlas' based on the Atlas of Living Australia.

An Atlas of Living Scotland has been commissioned as the first of a suite of Atlases and has become the testbed for future releases. (Funding has to date been assigned for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as a national UK Atlas).

Among the changes being brought in by the new Atlas is the loss of data provider management controls over visibility of data. As an example, Merseyside BioBank currently provides access to records at 2km square resolution (so anyone can see data we share at 2km), improved resolution can be granted to certain users or individuals if they meet our criteria for responsible/legitimate users.

This protects both the data (some of which may be of sensitive species or data which we do not have permission to share at full resolution) as well as the business model of Merseyside BioBank, while allowing a useable resolution for most national and regional work (while the data is licensed as not for commercial (CC-BY-NC) use we have logged a number of attempts to do just this.

The license also does not prevent Government agency use and it is our concern that if we were to release records at full resolution, even where this were possible, we would loose our ability to resource and coordinate the flow of records.

As a result Merseyside BioBank will be transfering current datasets to the Atlas at the current public resolution (2km square). We will however loose the ability to permit or share improved access with members for which i can only apologise, it is currently unavoidable.

Merseyside BioBank does and will remain an active and commited member of the National Biodiversity Network. The benefits of a national voice, a national profile and national (and international) sharing of information can only be good for the conservation of species which we appreciate is the primary focus of many of the recorders we work with.

It is my hope that in the future we will find a way to improve access for all while remain a viable 'not for profit' and able to continue to encourage, support, resource and coordinate local biological recording effort with a focus on the needs of wildlife and the City Region.

BDeed
An update from JNCC and the NBN Secretariat

Dear NBN Data Partners,

Following on from recent communications on the NBN Atlas and the closure of the NBN Gateway, further clarification on the transfer of data from the NBN Gateway to the NBN Atlas is provided below.

You will already be aware from previous communications that the deadline for data submissions to the NBN Gateway is Tuesday 28th February 2017. This is in order to transfer datasets from the NBN Gateway to the NBN Atlas in time for 1st April 2017 (where Data Partners have agreed this).

The datasets which will be transferred to the NBN Atlas from the NBN Gateway are those which meet all of the following conditions:

  1. Data Partner has completed and submitted a Data Partner Agreement to the NBN Trust.
  2. Data Partner has given permission via the Data Partner Agreement for the dataset to be shared through the NBN Atlas at either:

a. the same level of access as currently available to the public on the NBN Gateway; or

b. the full level of access (ie full enhanced resolution with all available fields: ‘Recorder’, ‘Determiner’, and attributes where supplied).

  1. Dataset has a Creative Commons or Open Government Licence associated with it on the NBN Gateway.

The datasets which will not be transferred to the NBN Atlas from the NBN Gateway are those which meet any of the following conditions:

  1. Data Partner has not completed or submitted a Data Partner Agreement to the NBN Trust.
  2. Data Partner has not given permission via the Data Partner Agreement for the dataset to be shared through the NBN Atlas at either:

a. the same level of access as currently available to the public on the NBN Gateway; or

b. the full level of access (ie full enhanced resolution with all available fields: ‘Recorder’, ‘Determiner’, and attributes where supplied).

  1. Dataset does not have a Creative Commons or Open Government Licence associated with it on the NBN Gateway.

Records within datasets on the NBN Gateway which have been flagged as ‘sensitive’ will not be transferred to the NBN Atlas.

Data Partners who wish for their datasets to be transferred to the NBN Atlas from the NBN Gateway should ensure they have completed and returned a Data Partner Agreement before the 28th February 2017, in line with the final submission date for the NBN Gateway. The Agreements have been sent to each dataset administrator for the NBN Gateway, so please check there in the first instance.

Data Partners who would like their datasets to be transferred to the NBN Atlas but have not associated a data licence with their dataset on the NBN Gateway should do so as a priority. It is not sufficient to return a Data Partner Agreement without an associated data licence on the NBN Gateway.

Data Partners who wish to share datasets at a different level of access to either the current level of public access or full access (full enhanced resolution with all available fields) on the NBN Gateway, must resubmit the dataset to the NBN Gateway before the 28th February 2017, with instruction for the public access to be set as they wish it to appear on the NBN Atlas. The dataset will then be reloaded on the NBN Gateway at this new level of public access before being transferred to the NBN Atlas.

After the 28th February 2017, any new, updated or historical datasets which are not on the NBN Atlas but are intended to be, must be submitted directly to the NBN Atlas, along with the Data Partner Agreement if not already submitted. Further information on this process will be available soon.

Key dates at a glance

  • 28 February 2017 - deadline for data submissions to the NBN Gateway, including any resubmissions for changing the level of access
  • 28 February 2017 - deadline for adding a licence to a dataset on the NBN Gateway
  • 28 February 2017 - absolute deadline for return of Data Partner Agreements
  • 31st March 2017 - NBN Gateway will close
  • 1st April 2017 - NBN Atlas will be live

Thank you for your ongoing support with this major change to how we share our biodiversity data. If you have any questions please do get in touch with the NBN Secretariat at support@nbn.org.uk

Kind regards,

Joint Nature Conservation Committee and NBN Secretariat

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