dataset : Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) - USA Dataset Collection

U.S. Geological Survey


Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) - USA Dataset Collection

OBIS-USA provides aggregated, interoperable biogeographic data collected primarily from U.S. waters and oceanic regions--the Arctic, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. It provides access to datasets from state and federal agencies as well as educational and research institutions. OBIS-USA handles both specimen-based data and survey results. Survey data come from recovered archives and current research activities. The datasets document where and when species were observed or collected, bringing together marine biogeographic data that are spatially, taxonomically, and temporally comprehensive. The public OBIS-USA site ( provides actual data contents as well as summary data about what is contained in each dataset to assist users in evaluating suitability for use. Current functionality allows the user to locate, view, and aggregate the datasets and FGDC compliant metadata as well as to view and search the taxonomic, geographic, and temporal extent. To promote data interoperability, the data are available in accordance with the marine-focused implementation of the Darwin Core data standard. In addition to basic download functions (tab-delimited), OBIS-USA offers web services for query flexibility and a wide range of output formats, such as kml, NetCDF, MATLAB, json, and graph or map output, to enable diverse types of scientific and geospatial data use and analysis platforms and products. OBIS-USA's two web services (ERDDAP and GeoServer) enable integration of OBIS-USA biogeographic data with other data types, such as seafloor geology, physical oceanography, water chemistry, and climate data. The NOAA Environmental Research Division Data Access Program(ERRDDAP) enables users to query scientific data by flexible parameters and obtain output in many formats. Access can be found at . OBIS-USA uses the tabledap component of ERDDAP to access Darwin-Core-type tabular spatial data; tabledap is a superset of the OPeNDAP DAP constraint protocol. OBIS-USA offers an ESRI REST Service with access to Darwin-Core-type point data at and an OGC compliant Web Mapping Service (wms) OBIS-USA and collaborators are further deploying the Darwin Core standard to capture richer information, such as absence and abundance, observations on effort, individual tracking, and more advanced biogeography capabilities. Data are accepted into OBIS-USA from the data originator or holder, minimizing the burden on the participant. OBIS-USA works with data providers to understand the best process to transfer the data, review the data prior to their release, gather comprehensive metadata, and then allow public access to this information. Becoming part of the OBIS-USA network is intended to have tangible benefits for participants, for example, freeing the participant from responding to requests for data and alleviating security concerns since users do not directly access the participant's computers.

The spatial range for this dataset is -90.0° to 90.0° latitude, and -180.0° to 180.0° longitude. map (center)

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