07/3/14 7:57 PM

Sweden, first objective: interoperability

Following the guidelines and technical standards defined by LifeWatch, Sweden was the first country in Europe to begin constructing a national e-infrastructure for biodiversity data. The Swedish LifeWatch project was initiated in 2010 and will complete its construction phase in 2014.

The main objective of Swedish LifeWatch is to make major national biodiversity databases interoperable and thereby accessible through standardized web services. A coherent Analysis portal will provide a single access point and a range of analytical and visualisation services.

The infrastructure will be based on systems architecture standardisation, enabling access to major Swedish data providers from biodiversity and climate archives, observatories, as well as international databases.

The project is largely financed by the Swedish Research Council and builds upon a network of national data centres and user communities for biodiversity research, such as universities, institutes and museums, including the Swedish GBIF node.

The Analysis portal will enable free access to a selection of biodiversity and environmental data based on systems based on taxonomical, ecological, temporal or spatial choice. Data can also be aggregated, analysed, visualized and downloaded according to the user's preferences. Implementing web services at all important primary databases means that data can easily be shown at or exported to other biodiversity initiatives, not the least LifeWatch and GBIF.

The Swedish LifeWatch infrastructure will provide an important tool for researchers, conservation biologists and policy makers, for frontline research and a better understanding and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services.


Swedish LifeWatch is a joint effort between six national parties: the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) including the Swedish GBIF node, University of Gothenburg, Lund University and Umeå University. The project is hosted by SLU and coordinated by the Swedish Species Information Centre (ArtDatabanken). Funding is mainly provided by the Swedish Research Council.