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

Priyank Tiwari priyankgt at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 16:48:15 CEST 2015

Thanks Markus.

Let me take a quick example from the downloaded occurrences.txt

The occurrence record has gbifid = 1056676532, taxonKey = 6092438 and
speciesKey = 2482473.
If we use http://api.gbif.org/v1/species/{int}/vernacularNames API with
taxonKey = 6092438, then it gives 0 results (
http://api.gbif.org/v1/species/6092438/vernacularNames), where as if we use
speciesKey in the API, it gives proper results as I would like to display (

Will taxonKey be unique for every species or does it map to higher order
species in the classification hierarchy?

On Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 7:10 PM, Markus Döring <mdoering at gbif.org> wrote:

> Hi Priyank,
> 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?
> taxonKey is the primary key, speciesKey points to the accepted species but
> your occurrence might be linked to a subspecies or even a synonym name
> 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?
> As you said use the species API to get vernacular names. {int} is the
> taxonKey from the occurrence record. 212, birds in this case:
> http://api.gbif.org/v1/species/212/vernacularNames
> 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?
> I am afraid that does not exist. We use an image cache internally that
> produces thumbnails, but its not part of the public API.
> We also do not have flagged just one image as the representative. And
> watch out for the media type, it can also be videos or sounds.
> cheers,
> Markus
> Thanks,
> Priyank
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~ Priyank
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