[API-users] Few queries regarding downloaded occurrence.text data

Priyank Tiwari priyankgt at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 14:56:12 CEST 2015

Hi All,

I am currently trying to display the GBIF data in a format which is
currently not supported by the GBIF API. For exmaple, displaying the list
of species within few KM radius from a specific location ordered by species
occurrence count.

To accomplish this, I decided to use the occurrence download API to fetch
the data for all the required regions, store it in a database and query as
per my requirement. I decided to go with following 2 simple tables in the

   1. *Species* - stores species related data like scientific name,
   vernacular names, representative image url, etc
   2. *Occurences* - stores occurence related data like eventDate, gbifid,
   decimalLatitude, decimalLongitude, etc

After having a quick look at the downloaded occurrences.txt file, following
queries came to my mind,

1. What should be my primary key for species table? I see 'speciesKey'
column as a candidate, but it is set as null for some species. The
occurrence record has a scientific name but no speciesKey. Any suggestions
on this? What field I can use as unique identifier for species?

2. Vernacular names are missing for almost all the occurrences. Is there
any API by which I can also obtain vernacular names for a species?
http://api.gbif.org/v1/species/{int}/vernacularNames seems to do the job,
but what is {int} (speciesKey?) and how do I get it from occurrence data?

3. I also need few representative images of the species.
http://api.gbif.org/v1/species/{int}/media seems to do the job, but it
returns a large image and I am looking for a small thumbnail image. Any way
to accomplish this? Also, any API that can provide me both the vernacular
names and imge url in single API call?

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