OBIS-USA MBG Sections

AdminAndId
DateTime
Georeference
Elevation
Depth
Record Origination
Originator Resource
Taxonomic Identification
Occurrence Detail
Tracking
Sample Event
Quantification
Named Geography
Higher Taxonomy
VLTS
Fish Abundance

OBIS-USA Marine BioGeography (MBG) Terminology Defintions

Version MBG 2.1 (2015)

termreferencesectiondefinition
AdminAndId
Top
The most recent date the data originator updated or verified the record, expressed in the standard ISO 8601:2004(E). Can be the record creation date or date of subsequent update or verification. If the data originator does not record or provide this information, OBIS-USA will populate this date with the date the record became available to OBIS-USA.
verbatimModified
AdminAndId
The date and time value of the modified term, recorded in the exact format that the data originator provided it, for purposes of audit trail, since OBIS-USA will convert this to ISO 8601:2004(E) for operational purposes.
bibliographicCitation
AdminAndId
A bibliographic reference for the resource as a statement indicating how this record should be cited (attributed) when used. Recommended practice is to include sufficient bibliographic detail to identify the resource as unambiguously as possible.
references
AdminAndId
A related resource that is referenced, cited, or otherwise pointed to by the described resource. Use this term to point to related resources, such as other forms of the data, other data from the same cruise (such as physical oceanography data), and models and synthesis made from the data.
associatedReferences
AdminAndId
A list (concatenated and separated) of identifiers (publication, bibliographic reference, global unique identifier, URI) of literature associated with the Occurrence. Use this to reference literature that was the source of biogeographic information in some cases; an example is occurrences that formerly had 'derivedFromLiterature' as the "basisOfRecord".
associatedMetadata
AdminAndId
Identifier(s) or url(s) that identify the reference copy (system of record) of metadata associated with the datasetID. OBIS-USA practice is to name the metadata file with the contents of the "datasetID" term, to make a durable connection between data and metadata.
datasetID
AdminAndId
An abbreviated name for the dataset that contains the occurrence record. This may also be the technical name for the data resource in a database or web service. The datasetID occurs on each row to preserve record identity in case records served by the resource become distributed to other resources or applications.
datasetName
AdminAndId
This is a long-form name for the dataset, more explanatory than the DatasetID. The DatasetName will read as a recognizable title that reflects information about the dataset. Suggested information to include in the datasetName can refer to originator, content, purpose, method, geography, or other characteristics of the dataset. This datasetName term in the data record will match the dataset name in metadata.
higherInstitutionCode
AdminAndId
Institution codes, in the form of abbreviated institution names, separated by semicolons, that define the hierarchy of institutions within which the data originator operates. Includes the originating institution as the lowest level (rightmost) code. Abbreviations for institutions in all levels of the hierarchy will be explained in metadata.
institutionCode
AdminAndId
An abbreviation for the institution that is the originator of this data resource; the institution involved in research, data collection and/or data management that most directly produced this dataset. This institution also appears as the lowest level (rightmost) code in the higherInstitutionCode term.
ownerInstitutionCode
AdminAndId
An abbreviation that identifies the institution, within the higherInstitutionCode hierarchy, that is considered the owner or controller of the data.
collectionCode
AdminAndId
An identifier for a subset(s) of data within the dataset, partitioned by methods or parameters meaningful to the data originators. The system and purpose for defining and partitioning by collectionCode within a dataset will be explained in metadata.
catalogNumber
AdminAndId
A record identifier provided by the data originator. The identifier is controlled by the data originator and reflects the originator's practices of data administration. Special concerns about the identifier, such as whether it is unique, how it is controlled, if it is persistent, or if it contains embedded information, can be addressed in metadata if applicable.
DateTime
Top
The date and time of observation expressed in local time using the standard ISO 8601:2004(E). Where date and time are imprecise, for example, time not recorded or day not recorded, ISO 8601 practice is to omit the components of the date and time string for those unspecified details. Where date and time imprecision are more complex, for example, "observed between 10am and noon" or "observed during the first half of July", supplement the use of ISO 8601 in this term with the use of verbatimEventDate, time, timeUncertainty, and eventDateRemarks.
eventDateTimeZone
DateTime
The time zone of the observation event, expressed as +/- hh:mm offset from UTC. While time zone information can also be included in the full ISO 8601 expression in eventDate, time zone is stored here for reliable use in time and timeUncertainty calculations. (The term) time must be expressed in UTC.
eventDateRemarks
DateTime
eventDateRemarks explains information about date and time that may not be evident in verbatim, ISO 8601, or nominal forms of the date and time. For example, date and time may include uncertainty, such as time of day left null because time was not recorded. However, data originators may be able to say that although time was not recorded, the observation is known to have been made between 8am and 5pm local time. eventDateRemarks can provide a concise explanation of this condition. eventDateRemarks can also provide explanation for how timeUncertainty was determined.
verbatimEventDate
DateTime
The expression of the date and time of the observation in language identical to the originator's description of the date and time of observation. If the originator used a non-standard format or descriptive language for date and time, verbatimEventDate contains this information.
time
DateTime
This term identifies a specific instant chosen to represent the date and time of the observation, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Both date and time are specified in this term in order to facilitate some searches and services that require resolution of events to this level of precision in time. Some observation events occur with uncertainty at the level of minutes, hours, or even days or more. A nominal event date and time is determined, even for observations with date and time uncertainty, for web services to best represent the instant of the event. The companion term, timeUncertainty, defines an interval of uncertainty that quantifies precision to correspond to the precision the original data recorded. Methods for determining nominal time and uncertainty will be documented in metadata, and they can be explained (if concise) in the eventDateRemarks term.
timeUncertainty
DateTime
This is the uncertainty in seconds before and after the (the term) time, as a result of both precision and accuracy factors in determining observation time. This use of uncertainty makes (the term) time the mid-point in the range of uncertainty equal to twice the value of this term.
Georeference
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The position of the observation north or south of the equator in decimal degrees. Latitudes north of the equator are positive and range to +90 degrees. Positions south of the equator are negative, and range to -90 degrees. This term is implemented in the OBIS-USA database as character data to preserve the exact information provided by the data originator, particularly the number of decimal places, that must be retained to remain true to the original information.
longitude
Georeference
The position of the observation east or west of the prime meridian in decimal degrees. Positions west of the prime meridian are negative, and range to -180. Positions east of the prime meridian are positive, and range to +180. This term is implemented in the OBIS-USA database as character data to preserve the exact information provided by the data originator, because exact features such as the number of decimal places must be retained to remain true to the original information.
footprintWKT
Georeference
A Well-Known Text (WKT) representation of geometry associated with the observation. For example, this can be a line segment or polyline representing a cruise path or transect. The location for an occurrence record may have both a point-radius representation (see latitude, longitude) and a footprint representation. This would be a case known to occur in marine data, where the record contains both a point along a transect, as well as a representation of the transect itself. The footprintWKT can also represent other geometry such as a polygon.
coordinateUncertaintyInMeters
Georeference
An expression in meters of the overall uncertainty of the georeference provided by the latitude and longitude data. The uncertainty can combine issues of both accuracy and precision, and depends on the method the data originator used to determine coordinates. Methods and considerations that go into determinations of uncertainty will be described in metadata.
verbatimCoordinates
Georeference
Record original coordinate information here (both latitude and longitude) for audit trail purposes where necessary.
verbatimCoordinateSystem
Georeference
The spatial coordinate system for the verbatimCoordinates.
verbatimSRS
Georeference
The ellipsoid, geodetic datum, or spatial reference system (SRS) upon which coordinates given in verbatimCoordinates are based.
geodeticDatum
Georeference
The ellipsoid, geodetic datum, or spatial reference system used in (the terms) latitude and longitude. OBIS-USA practice is to provide all coordinates using EPSG:4326, also known as WGS 84. This element will identify the actual datum used, confirming WGS 84 or identifying what other datum applies.
verticalDatum
Georeference
A reference system that defines zero elevation, in relation to which observation measurements of elevation and depth are expressed; for example, categories of vertical datums can include tidal datums and geodetic datums.
georeferencedBy
Georeference
The name or other identifier of individual(s) or institution(s) that determined the georeference. Can be a list delimited by semicolon.
georeferenceProtocol
Georeference
A description or reference to the methods used to determine the spatial footprint, coordinates, and uncertainties. Georeference methods, including determination of coordinates and uncertainty, should be explained in metadata.
Elevation
Top
The altitude or elevation of the surface of the water, in meters above sea level, in which the observation was made. "altitude" is expressed as a single value rather than the min and max as in DwC. Work with a representative of the original data to determine what is the preferred way to represent single value and min/max, as necessary. This single value named "altitude" is required for ERDDAP and Climate and Forecast compatibility.
minimumElevationInMeters
Elevation
minimumElevationInMeters and maximumElevationInMeters express the elevation range of the surface of the water, in meters above sea level, in which the observation was made. If the data originator provides a single elevation measurement, the minimumElevationInMeters and maximumElevationInMeters show that measurement and will be equal. If no elevation information is provided, both the min and max terms will be NULL.
maximumElevationInMeters
Elevation
minimumElevationInMeters and maximumElevationInMeters express the elevation range of the surface of the water, in meters above sea level, in which the observation was made. If the data originator provides a single elevation measurement, the minimumElevationInMeters and maximumElevationInMeters show that measurement and will be equal. If no elevation information is provided, both the min and max terms will be NULL.
Depth
Top
The depth below the surface of the water, in meters, at which the observation was made. "depth" is expressed as a single value rather than the min and max as in DwC. Work with a representative of the original data to determine what is the preferred way to represent single value and min/max, as necessary. This single value named "depth" is required for ERDDAP and Climate and Forecast compatibility.
minimumDepthInMeters
Depth
minimumDepthInMeters and maximumDepthInMeters express the depth range below the surface of the water at which the observation was made. If the data originator provides a single depth measurement, the minimumDepthInMeters and maximumDepthInMeters show that measurement and will be equal. If no depth information is provided, both the min and max terms will be NULL.
maximumDepthInMeters
Depth
minimumDepthInMeters and maximumDepthInMeters express the depth range below the surface of the water at which the observation was made. If the data originator provides a single depth measurement, the minimumDepthInMeters and maximumDepthInMeters show that measurement and will be equal. If no depth information is provided, both the min and max terms will be NULL.
RecordOrigination
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Identifies the source of information or observation that generated the biological occurrence record.
recordType
RecordOrigination
Use "recordType" to refine the information in "basisOfRecord". For one example, within the "basisOfRecord" that is 'HumanObservation' use "recordType" to distinguish a an animal captured, identified, and recorded in human possession (such as outcome of a trawl) from an animal observed and identified at a distance and recorded by a human (such as VLTS observations).
recordedBy
RecordOrigination
The name or other identifier of individual(s) or institution(s) responsible for making the observation and recording it in electronic form. Can be a list delimited by semicolon.
source
RecordOrigination
The Source term carries over from vOBIS, where it had been considered for discontinuation. However, it has proven useful for identifying literature as a source of biogeographic information, so it is retained in MBG for use at the record level when the occurrence record is derived from literature. Enter the literature citation in this term. This will be required when the basisOfRecord is "DerivedFromLiterature". Transition to the Darwin Core term for this purpose in MBG. See http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/associatedReferences
aggregator
RecordOrigination
The name of an institution also involved in gathering or developing this data, in between the data originator and OBIS-USA.
OriginatorResource
Top
This term contains a URL provided by the data originator that links to a resource specific to this individual record, for example, an image file or web page devoted to this observation.
originatorResourceUrlTitle
OriginatorResource
This term is only used as a companion to the originatorResourceIdentifier term. The "originatorResourceUrlTitle" term contains the title or label text to be displayed to a web user in relation to the corresponding URL.
TaxonomicIdentification
Top
A common or vernacular name for the taxon observed. vernacularName is not required. Use of this term is at the discretion of the data originator. If this term is used, then authorities, references and procedures for making identifications and translating vernacular name to scientific name should be documented in metadata. The recommended practice is that vernacular names be used consistently within a dataset.
scientificNameID
TaxonomicIdentification
An identifier for the nomenclatural (not taxonomic) details of the scientific name. For OBIS-USA, this may be an ITIS taxon serial number or a WoRMS aphia ID, or other similar reference.
scientificName
TaxonomicIdentification
The taxonomic identification of the observation as either 1) Genus and species (and subspecies if provided) in Latin binomial nomenclature form, or 2) the lowest-level taxonomic name to which the observation is identified, expressed in Latin form. scientificName is a required term. Authorities, references and procedures for making identifications should be documented in metadata.
taxonRank
TaxonomicIdentification
The taxonRank term is a companion to the scientificName term. taxonRank identifies the taxonomic level of the lowest-level name in the scientificName term, if the scientificName refers to a level above genus.
typeStatus
TaxonomicIdentification
A list (concatenated and separated by semicolons) of nomenclatural types (type status, typified scientific name, publication) applied to the subject.
genus
TaxonomicIdentification
The full scientific name of the genus in which the taxon is classified.
subgenus
TaxonomicIdentification
The full scientific name of the subgenus in which the taxon is classified.
specificEpithet
TaxonomicIdentification
The full scientific name of the species in which the taxon is classified
infraspecificEpithet
TaxonomicIdentification
The full scientific name of the subspecies, variant or other finer level identification.
scientificNameAuthorship
TaxonomicIdentification
The authorship information for the scientificName.
identifiedBy
TaxonomicIdentification
The name or other identifier of individual(s) or institution(s) that assigned the taxonomic name. Can be a list delimited by semicolons.
dateIdentified
TaxonomicIdentification
The date the identification on this record was made, expressed in ISO 8601 date format.
identificationQualifier
TaxonomicIdentification
A brief phrase or a standard term ("cf.", "aff.") to express the determiner's uncertainty about the identification.
identificationRemarks
TaxonomicIdentification
Comments or notes about the identification, including any applicable reference to process, authorities, keys, uncertainties, or special conventions used in making the identification and assigning the name and/or formatting the name.
OccurrenceDetail
Top
The number of individuals represented in the observation record. Valid values include positive integers, zero, and null. Positive integers represent presence. If the observation record and metadata also contain other required information such as details about the sampling activity, individualCount can contribute to the abundance calculations. Null value for individualCount represents a record of presence, with quantity unspecified, and null values do not support abundance calculations. Zero value represents absence. Zero values for absence are only valid if methodology for establishing absence is recorded in metadata.
sex
OccurrenceDetail
The sex of biological individuals represented in the observation record. Vocabulary will be consistent within a dataset and will be explained in metadata. Methods of determination (where applicable) will be explained in metadata.
lifeStage
OccurrenceDetail
An expression or description of age or lifestage of biological individual(s) in the observation record. Vocabulary will be consistent within a dataset and will be explained in metadata. Methods of determination (where applicable) will be explained in metadata.
behavior
OccurrenceDetail
Verbatim description of the behavior shown by the subject at the time the occurrence was recorded. For example, swimming, charging, spy hopping. If behavioral codes are used in this term, they must be used consistently within a dataset and they must be explained in metadata.
weightInKg
OccurrenceDetail
The recorded weight in kilograms of the individuals in the observation. Capture in metadata details about weight, such as what kind of weight (e.g., dry weight), calculation or estimation procedures, or other details applied in determining weight. This is in contrast to totalInSample, that can report the total in the original sample in cases of subsampling. In cases of subsampling, weightInKg will be the weight of the subject of this occurrence record, be it an individual or more than one individual total weight.
dynamicProperties
OccurrenceDetail
A list of observed measurements and facts about a biological occurrence record that are not captured by other terms. Recorded in text format according to the following example: "weightInKilograms=8.4". Multiple measurements can be recorded, separated by semi-colons. Facts about the sampling activity, in contrast to the biological entity, will be recorded in the terms for sampling protocol, effort, and conditions, using the same convention. Development of data using "dynamicProperties" may be preparatory for future use of the Darwin Core MeasurementOrFact extension.
preparations
OccurrenceDetail
A list (concatenated and separated by semicolons) of preparations and preservation methods for a specimen.
associatedSequences
OccurrenceDetail
A list (concatenated and separated) of identifiers (publication, global unique identifier, URI) of genetic sequence information associated with the Occurrence. Use this for example to record GenBank accession number(s) associated with an observed taxon.
occurrenceRemarks
OccurrenceDetail
Information, that is not addressed elsewhere in MBG, about the observation event and biological or other context details about what was observed. Can be general remarks directly from a corresponding column in the original data. Can also include miscellaneous but applicable information carried over from conversion to Darwin Core / MBG and placed here for future reference.
Tracking
Top
An identifier for a recognizable individual or group of individuals potentially being observed more than once. Observer procedures for determining consistent identity of the individual or group must be documented in metadata.
receiverID
Tracking
The identifier of any form of technology used in tracking an individual, such as a satellite or radio transceiver, that helps document how the observation was made and known to be a consistent individual.
trackHomeRecord
Tracking
trackHomeRecord identifies the single record and location to consider home for the individual or group identified by the individualID. trackHomeRecord assists determination that multiple records may be included in OBIS-USA, but only one should be counted to accurately assess the total number of individuals in OBIS-USA. trackHomeRecord will be determined according to practices approved by the data originator. For example, trackHomeRecord can be the first record, or a mid-point record based on time or geography, or determined by some other approved method. Values can be true, false, or null.
trackSequenceNumber
Tracking
The combination of individuaID and the eventDate should capture information about multiple observations as well as the sequence of observations, representing the track covered by the individual. The sequence number term will be generated, in coordination with the data originator, as a series of ordinal integers. The purpose is either to cross-validate the sequence, or to accommodate missing information in a track (such as imprecise time stamps). The practice of adding this sequence number may prove to be unnecessary if track observation data is complete and verifiable.
individualIdentifyingFeature
Tracking
The feature or technology that identifies an individual or group reliably from one observation to another, such as distinct dorsal fin or tail fluke pattern, or technology such as a passive or active tag that is detected by sensing equipment that locates and identifies the individual.
SampleEvent
Top
surveyEventID identifies a tow, trawl, cast, cruise, transect or other event or unit that survey operators, data gatherers and data managers want to treat as a single consistent event or unit. A survey event can contain one or many sample events sampleIDs.
materialSampleID
SampleEvent
A unique identifier for a unit of material, or other medium of observation, gathered at a discrete point in time, that serves as a sample for a survey of biological occurrence (presence, quantification, absence, or derived value). The definition of a sample and assignment of IDs is controlled by the data originator. If applicable, details about how samples are defined and IDs assigned will be provided in metadata.
subsampleID
SampleEvent
If a sample is further divided by the data originator for purposes of organization, handling, or analysis, and if the data originator wants to maintain the identity of the subsample, capture the ID of the subsample here. Explain in metadata if applicable.
equipment
SampleEvent
Identifies the equipment or type of equipment used to obtain or gather the sample or otherwise make the observation.
samplingProtocol
SampleEvent
Information about the intended sampling method as defined by the data originator. Contents in this term (either verbatim or by vocabulary) will be used consistently in a dataset and will be explained in metadata. If there is more than one aspect of sampling protocol worth capturing, information can be concatenated into this term, delimited by semicolon. More extensive discussion of sampling protocol may be provided in metadata as needed.
samplingEffort
SampleEvent
Information about the extent, duration or other variable aspects of the sampling activity, as conducted by the data originator, that occurred at the time of the sampling event. In contrast to the samplingProtocol, which describes the intended method of sampling prior to the event, samplingEffort describes actual phenomena as they occur at the time of sampling. More than one type of effort information can be concatenated into this term, delimited by semicolon. Contents in this term (either verbatim or by vocabulary) will be used consistently in a dataset and will be explained in metadata. More extensive discussion of sampling effort may be provided in metadata as needed.
samplingConditions
SampleEvent
Information about the state of the sampling location, determined by external factors such as weather, water conditions, lighting and visibility, etc., at the time of the sampling event. Like samplingEffort, this term describes phenomena other than the method intended by the data collector in the samplingProtocol. The difference between samplingEffort and samplingConditions is that samplingConditions describes the state of the environment, and samplingEffort describes the actions of the sampler. More than one type of information about conditions can be concatenated into this term, delimited by semicolon. Contents in this term (either verbatim or by vocabulary) will be used consistently in a dataset and will be explained in metadata. More extensive discussion of sampling conditions may be provided in metadata as needed.
totalInSample
SampleEvent
In cases where subsampling has been done and the data record represents a subsample, the totalInSample term contains information about the total quantity in the original sample, usually expressed as total count or weight, for example "Count=85" or "WeightInKilograms=4.4". Specific details about how subsampling was done in relation to the total sample must be explained in samplingProtocol, and/or in metadata.
habitat
SampleEvent
A description or identifier of general information about the habitat in which the observation was made. Vocabulary will be consistent within a dataset and will be explained in metadata. Methods of determination (where applicable) will be explained in metadata.
Quantification
Top
This is a one-character string with enumerated values indicating what type of quantification this record represents. "P" for presence (and no quantification), "Q" for quantified or "A" for absence.
quantificationVocabulary
Quantification
The names for derived values, referred to as quantification, can be drawn from a controlled vocabulary or vocabularies of quantification names. Or they can be reported using the verbatim name given by the data originator. Either the name of the controlled vocabulary or the word “verbatim” should be used in this term to record the level of control over names. Verbatim means the names are not using a controlled vocabulary other than the names assigned just as they are by the data originator. Either way, within a dataset, identifiers for quantification names must be used consistently and explained in metadata.
quantificationName
Quantification
A name for a derived value or processed data about the occurrence, for example, "Biomass". The word used in this terminology for such information is "quantification", rather than "abundance", because the word "abundance" may already be associated with specific, rather than general, practices of quantification in biology. In this example, biomass would not be obtained at survey time, rather biomass would be calculated from input data that was obtained at survey time, combined with a biomass calculation methodology. This term is used along with companion terms for quantification value, units, uncertainty, method, and determination details. It is suggested that names for derived values be more specific than "Biomass", because many institutions will develop biomass information using diverse methods. Suggested practice is to include some more specific reference(s) in the quantification name, such as institution, survey, date or other specifics. For example, "Biomass-PIFSC-2011", and explain the name and method of calculation in metadata.
quantificationValue
Quantification
The value of the derived information product, such as the numerical value for biomass. This term does not include units. Units are contained in another term.
quantificationUnit
Quantification
The units in which the value expresses the quantification, for example, "kg/m^2 surface" or "kilograms per square meter of ocean surface".
quantificationUncertainty
Quantification
An estimate of the uncertainty, positive and negative (+/-) offset of the stated value, that expresses the uncertainty of the value as calculated and reported. This can be reported in the units of the quantification, or as a percentage. Note that the expression in this term can combine both accuracy and precision considerations to a more general estimate uncertainty; hence the slightly different name for this term compared to the Darwin Core (dwc) reference term.
quantificationDeterminedDate
Quantification
The date the quantification was determined, expressed in ISO 8601 date format. Can be different from the observation date.
quantificationDeterminedBy
Quantification
The name or ID of person(s) or institution(s) that determined the quantification.
quantificationMethod
Quantification
A reference to the method used to determine the quantification. This will be different from the method used to make the observation of biological occurrence; it will be the companion calculation method that followed the observation method. Quantification information is expected to be useful only if method is sufficiently documented, so this term is vitally important for use of quantification terms for derived values. This term can contain a code or other abbreviated reference to a method. In all cases quantificationMethod should be explained in metadata and supporting publications or related resources identified.
NamedGeography
Top
The name of the water body in which the observation was made. For marine data, this is the ocean name. If there is a more specific named region, such as a bay or reef, or sector of the ocean (for example, northwest Pacific), add the regional name after the ocean name, separated by a semicolon. Note that the Locality term will contain the most specific name, such as a pier or other named feature, so that lowest level of detail need not be included in the waterBody term. The waterBody term is for the ocean and any named intermediate geography such as a region.
islandGroup
NamedGeography
The name of an island group associated with the location where the observation was made.
island
NamedGeography
The name of an island associated with the location where the observation was made.
locality
NamedGeography
The locality is the most specific named place to identify the location of the observation. Many marine data rely strictly on geographic coordinates, so the locality term may be null. If a locality is used, it may be a specific location or feature name, such as "Pier 39" or "Atafu Atoll", or it may include a descriptive phrase, such as "a tidal pool 1500 meters north of Pier 39". Note that in marine observations, the latitude and longitude may be more precise than any named place would suggest, because the coordinates often come from navigation of GPS systems. Geographic names can be secondary locality identifiers and they can be less precise than coordinates.
country
NamedGeography
The name of the country in which the observation location occurs. Such geographic named locations may not be available or applicable for marine data, and accordingly the use of this term is optional. In some cases such jurisdiction identification may be crucial for data attribution, management and/or use, so this term is retained in the terminology for cases where it may be essential.
stateProvince
NamedGeography
The name of the state or province in which the observation location occurs. Such geographic named locations may not be available or applicable for marine data, and accordingly the use of this term is optional. In some cases such jurisdiction identification may be crucial for data attribution, management and/or use, so this term is retained in the terminology for cases where it may be essential.
county
NamedGeography
The name of the county or other comparable geographic unit in which the observation location occurs. Such geographic named locations may not be available or applicable for marine data, and accordingly the use of this term is optional. In some cases such jurisdiction identification may be crucial for data attribution, management and/or use, so this term is retained in the terminology for cases where it may be essential.
municipality
NamedGeography
The name of the municipality in which the observation location occurs. Such geographic named locations may not be available or applicable for marine data, and accordingly the use of this term is optional. In some cases such jurisdiction identification may be crucial for data attribution, management and/or use, so this term is retained in the terminology for cases where it may be essential.
HigherTaxonomy
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The full scientific name of the kingdom in which the taxon is classified.
phylum
HigherTaxonomy
The full scientific name of the phylum in which the taxon is classified.
class
HigherTaxonomy
The full scientific name of the class in which the taxon is classified.
order
HigherTaxonomy
The full scientific name of the order in which the taxon is classified.
family
HigherTaxonomy
The full scientific name of the family in which the taxon is classified.
VLTS
Top
Horizontal angle in degrees between the trackline and the line to the animal or group of animals when first sighted, even if a reliable species identification has not yet been made. The trackline is defined as the line of travel that the platform is actually doing, which may not necessarily be the proposed line that was in the original design. Calculate the bearing from 0 toward 359.999 degrees offset clockwise from 0 degrees, where 0 = 360 degrees. Assuming the platform is traveling forwards, the line of travel on the trackline, which is the front of the platform (e.g. bow of ship or front of plane) is at zero degrees bearing. For groups of animals, use the bearing for the approximate geometric center of the group of animals when first sighted.
verticalAngle
VLTS
Estimated angle of declination from the plane to the sighting from 0 to 90 degrees, typically measured with a clinometer. Angles range from 0 to 90 degrees where 0 means the sighting is at the horizon and 90 degrees is when the sighting is directly under the aircraft.
platformSpeed
VLTS
For aerial surveys: Speed of the aircraft at the time of the sighting, recorded in knots. For boat-based surveys: The actual speed of the vessel in knots at the time of the animal sighting. Usually information available from the ship navigation system.
reliability
VLTS
Estimate of reliability of species identification ranging from 0 (high uncertainty of species identification) to 100% (high certainty of correct species identification) reliability. This term can use the verbatim terminology from the data provider and will be described in the metadata.
reticles
VLTS
The number of reticles below the horizon using a specified type of binoculars. Reticle 0 indicates the sighting is at the horizon. The type of binoculars must be specified in the term distanceEstimationMethod. If distanceEstimationMethod did not include binoculars with reticles then no values will be required for this field.
distanceEstimationMethod
VLTS
Brief name of the type of binoculars used (e.g. BE = Big Eye) corresponding to the number of reticles recorded in the term reticles, or Naked Eye if sighting distance was estimated without binoculars. If codes for type of binoculars are used, they must be used consistently within a dataset and they must be explained in metadata. Metadata should also include additional information about the specific binoculars used, such as power (magnification X objective diameter in mm)
observationLocation
VLTS
For aerial surveys: Description of where on the airplane the observer was located when the animal was first detected For example observer location could be “Left side” or “Right side and front” of the airplane. For boat-based surveys: Description of where on the vessel the observer was located when the animal was first detected (e.g. tower, bridge). Any verbatim codes used in this term must be explained in the metadata.
observationHeight
VLTS
For aerial surveys: Altitude of aircraft in feet above sea level. Altitude is acquired using an altimeter that measures barometric pressure. Accuracy of this measurement relies on daily calibration of mean sea level, and may vary during the length of a flight due to changes in barometric pressure. Consequently, negative altitudes often appear around take-offs and landings; these values should be disregarded. For boat-based surveys: Specifies the average height of the floor of the observationLocation above the water level in meters. This information is linked to the information in observationLocation. observationHeight and reticles is used to calculate the radial distance from the vessel to the animals. For more accurate distance calculations, you can include observer’s name (see MBG term recordedBy) and each observer’s height (included in metadata for recordedBy).
sightingDistanceInMeters
VLTS
For boat-based surveys: Radial distance in meters between the animal (or center of group of animals) and the vessel when the first sighting was made. This value is can be reported if 1) prior calibrations of radial distances have been made using the known observation height and the reticles on the specific types of binoculars used during the survey, and 2) sighting was detected by eye if ‘Naked Eye’ is specified in distanceEstimationMethod. *Optional use for aerial surveys: Typically these radial sighting distances are not recorded, but they can be calculated from clinometer readings (verticalAngle) and altitude (observationHeight). If distances between the plane and the animals are provided (e.g. using lasers, or calculating distance to the trackline using GPS locations above the initial animal sightings) this information can be included in this term.
visibilityImpairment
VLTS
Description of any impairments to visibility, such as: fog, precipitation, low ceiling, haze, glare. This term will use the verbatim terminology from the data provider that may include information on the degree of impairment as well as the description of impairment type.
sightingCue
VLTS
Description of what was seen first of the group, that is, the cue associated with the first sighting of the animal (or group of animals). A behavioral code may be used (e.g. BL = blow). Additional explanation of the role of cues in sighting may be helpful to explain in metadata. If behavioral codes are used in sightingCue, they must be used consistently within a dataset and they must be explained in metadata.
vesselActivity
VLTS
Description of vessel activity occurring when the animal is first sighted (e.g. periods of surveying during active sound production or periods of transit). This is to make users aware of aspects of the survey, vessel activity or observation details that may bias the detection of animals and so may impact how they select and handle dataset-specific observations in applications.
windSpeedInKnots
VLTS
True wind speed in knots (removes effect of vessel course and speed).
windDirectionRelativeToTrueNorth
VLTS
Wind direction in degrees relative to true North.
visibilityInMeters
VLTS
For aerial surveys: Estimated maximum distance from the plane in meters at which an animal can be observed on the water surface given the present environmental conditions. Different visibilities can be reported separately for left and right side of the plane if these are recorded. In this case the term will consist of two values separated by semicolons. The first term will describe the estimated visibility in meters for left side of the plane, and the second term will describe visibility in meters for the observer on the right side of the plane. If more than two observers record visibility information in meters these can be incorporated by formatting the contents using the Darwin core dynamic properties approach to key-value pairs (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/#dynamicProperties). For boat-based surveys: Estimated maximum distance from the vessel in meters at which an animal can be observed on the water surface given the present environmental conditions, such as glare, rain, fog, sea state, swell height.
beaufortSeaState
VLTS
Number corresponding to Beaufort sea state (scale 0 to 12) to describe sea conditions
observersCounts
VLTS
Integer labels and values for additional estimates of group size or counts. For visual line transect surveys this term may consist of separated values estimating group size (best estimate, minimum estimate, maximum estimate). This term is optional if survey protocols do not include additional group size estimates. The contents of such a list of counts is flexible, if other types of labels and counts are required and can include counts of number of calves. Format the contents using the Darwin core dynamic properties approach to key-value pairs (http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/#dynamicProperties). e.g. “bestEstimate=10; minEstimate=8; maxEstimate=15; calves = 2”
onEffort
VLTS
One character string to flag whether a record was on effort or off effort. The start and end of effort observations can be identified where there is a change from off effort to on effort and vice-versa. Examples of off effort sighting records may include going off effort to approach animals to obtain better count information, or to photograph animals. Some position-only records may also occur off effort. Fixed vocabulary terms: Y = on effort, N = off effort
platformVLTS
VLTS
One-character string to flag survey platform type for visual line transect surveys. For aerial surveys: All records flagged “A”. For boat-based surveys: All records flagged “B”
positionVLTS
VLTS
One-character string to flag position only, non-sighting records (P) and additional platform position information when available. Position only records are required for recording tracklines and may also include additional information on sighting conditions. All position-only records will be flagged ‘P’ or ‘T’ for turning, although flagging ‘T’ is not required. Data providers should explain how frequently position only records were obtained (e.g. every 30 minutes) in the metadata. For sighting records this term describes the survey platform position during a sighting. Unless additional information is provided, all sighting records will be flagged as an observation location (O), or C for circling which may be on or off effort. This term records specific survey platform positions using the following fixed vocabulary: T = turning, C = circling, P = position only (non-turning), O = observation.
typeVLTS
VLTS
One-character string to flag only the initial sighting records which can be used in density and abundance estimation. Opportunistic and subsequent sighting records can be included in the dataset, but these are easily identified from this term for exclusion from abundance and density modeling. The fixed vocabulary terms are: F = first observation sighting on transect, O = opportunistic sighting, S = subsequent sighting either on or off transect, Null = for position-only records or non-VLTS datasets.
FishAbundance
Top
A unique taxon identifier obtained by validation of the taxon name with the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), www.marinespecies.org.
tsn
FishAbundance
A unique taxon identifier obtained by validation of the taxon name with the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), www.itis.gov.
observedIndividualLengthInCm
FishAbundance
If a single individual is observed and measured, record length in centimeters here.
observedMeanLengthInCm
FishAbundance
If measuring more than one individual for aggregate length values, record mean length in centimeters here.
observedMaxLengthInCm
FishAbundance
If measuring more than one individual for aggregate length values, record maximum length in centimeters here.
observedMinLengthInCm
FishAbundance
If measuring more than one individual for aggregate length values, record minimum length in centimeters here.
lengthType
FishAbundance
The type or method of length measurement used in this observation record, such as TL for total length, FL for fork length, SL for standard length.
sampleShape
FishAbundance
The shape of the sample space in which the observation was made, such as R for rectangular, C for cylindrical.
sampleLengthInMeters
FishAbundance
The length in meters of the sample space in which the observation was made.
sampleWidthInMeters
FishAbundance
The width in meters of the sample space in which the observation was made.
sampleHeightInMeters
FishAbundance
The height in meters of the sample space in which the observation was made.
sampleRadiusInMeters
FishAbundance
The radius in meters of a cylindrical sample space.
sampleAreaInSquareMeters
FishAbundance
The area in square meters, if projected vertically to a plane representing the ocean surface, of the sample space in which the observation was made.
sampleVolumeInCubicMeters
FishAbundance
The volume in cubic meters of the sample space in which the observation was made.
visibilityInMeters
FishAbundance
Visibility through the water column in meters.
visibilityType
FishAbundance
The direction of estimated visibility, horizontal or vertical.
waterTemperatureInCelsius
FishAbundance
The temperature of the water at the time of the observation, expressed in Celsius.
bottomType
FishAbundance
A description or identifier of general information about the sea floor at the coordinates or locality where the observation was made. Vocabulary will be consistent within a dataset and will be explained in metadata. Methods of determination (where applicable) will be explained in metadata.