Using web services for planning / development
RECORD utilises the NBN web services within its Data Portal; an online database providing users with the ability to interrogate RECORD’s dataset alongside data from the NBN. The two datasets, in combination, provide the most comprehensive picture of biodiversity within the Cheshire Region available to date. The addition of data from the NBN Gateway not only contextualises the RECORD dataset, but it provides another source of hitherto unavailable contemporary data. It is hoped that the same web services technology will be utilised within its commercial enquiries in the near future.
Users are assigned a login account by RECORD staff and, once logged in, can begin searching both RECORD and the NBN datasets. On the portal home page users are provided with a welcome message and statistics on their account usage and search history.
On the data search page users can choose to search for a single species or for a pre-defined species list by toggling between a single species and a species list using the link below the entry box. The species list function allows the user to select species of particular interest, such as bats, invasive non-native species, species of conservation concern etc.
Users can also choose to leave the species field blank in order to search all records, however to do this users need to enter a specific search area in the grid reference and buffer fields.
Users can then enter a specific grid reference to search and add a search buffer, if required. Alternatively they can leave this blank and search the whole dataset for their area of interest.
All data can be searched by date using the date range function; allowing searching by single year or year range. Both the RECORD and the NBN datasets can be selected and de-selected, both are selected by default.
The search request returns the data in a tabulated form clearly showing the two data sources in separate tables.
The data can be reviewed by the user at their leisure and at any point if they would like to see the data on the map they can either choose the tab at the top of the results page or click on a particular record entry and the map will open with the relevant data displayed. Data can then be reviewed by selecting the relevant data points within the map window.
Although the RECORD Data Portal is already being trialled there is still a great deal of development planned to improve the service. The next big development will revolve around opening the dataset up for all recorders to log in and search their own data. RECORD believes this represents a huge step forward in ensuring it holds the highest standard of data possible.