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Ocean Biogeographic Information System USA

Data Search and Access


Launch OBIS-USA Search Tool

Data Search

Through the data dashboard, OBIS-USA offers multiple ways to discover, determine suitability for use, and obtain data.

There are three main ways to search OBIS-USA: data - by geography, by taxon, or by individual dataset. Search parameters may be combined, for example starting with geography and then refining the search by dataset. OBIS-USA assists the user with maps, graphs, tables, and links to metadata while searching.

Data Access

Search results are available via web services. This enables users to obtain results interactively through the web site, or to use machine-to-machine access when desired.

ERDDAP - ERDDAP is NOAA's Environmental Research Division Data Access Program. It is widely used on distributed web servers in U.S. oceanographic data communities. It provides consistent access to a wide range of important ocean science data in useful formats. OBIS-USA offers all our biogeographic data via ERDDAP, enabling common access methods, and opportunity for integration, with other types of ocean data.

ESRI – OBIS-USA provides access to data via the ESRI ArcGIS REST API. This provides a simple open web interface to the OBIS-USA web service hosted on ESRI’s ArcGIS Server. All resources and operations exposed by the REST API are accessible through a hierarchy of endpoints or URLs for the OBIS-USA web service. These service endpoints may be used to view data in a variety of sources including the USGS National Map.

Data Standards

OBIS-USA technology brings data and metadata together using international standards for consistent meaning and usability for applications.

Data contained in OBIS-USA are mapped to the ratified Darwin Core standard for biogeography. OBIS-USA has developed a Darwin Core-compatible extension called "MBG" for Marine BioGeography, that is designed to meet specific ocean science requirements as experienced in the U.S.

OBIS-USA accepts information as provided by the data originator, including species names and taxonomy. OBIS-USA does check taxonomy against references such as the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) and the World Register for Marine Species (WoRMS), in cases where further taxonomic resolution can be helpful.