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Sampling event data

A typical sampling-event dataset consists of one event core file listing the sampling events and a number of extensions describing related data types (species occurrences, measurements or facts related to the sampling event, etc)(see Figure below). Links between core and extension records are made using an event identifier (eventID) data element. The sample-event data core can be used to publish time series data of sampling events, a hierarchy of events, or presence/absence data.

Sampling-event data can be published and shared using the IPT. In SOS sampling-event data can be imported but currently not exported. Visualization or presentation of sampling-event datasets is currently only possible via the global GBIF portal. The LA platform underlying the SBDI Bioatlas is primarily directed towards visualization of occurrence-based data although meeting this emerging need is a priority action.

For excel template, minimal requirements and recommendations on Sampling Event Data, see For best practices for publishing Sampling Event Data, see

Figure. Darwin Core Archive data files in ‘star schema’ (

What’s new in the DwC-A sampling event core

The addition of the ‘event core’ to the Darwin Core Standard includes several new terms highly applicable to sample-based and monitoring or research data.

  • eventID: an identifier specific for the event in a dataset
  • parentEventID: an identifier that groups events
  • samplingProtocol: name, reference, description of method or protocol used during sampling event
  • sampleSizeValue: numeric value for the size (duration, length, area or volume) of a sample in a sampling event. Must have a corresponding sampleSizeUnit
  • sampleSizeUnit: the unit of measure of the size (sampleSizeValue)
  • organismQuantity: a number for the quantity of organisms. Must have a corresponding organismQuantityType
  • organismQuantityType: the type of quantification system used for the quantity of organisms