Geospatial Interest Group - GIG

TDWG Interest Group (Open)


Reed Beaman
Peabody Museum of Natural History
Yale University
170 Whitney Ave
New Haven, CT  06520


A very common entry point to biological information is through associated geospatial information, for example, the latitude and longitude of a specimen collection or the name for the location of a specimen collection. Every observation or collection of an organism from a natural environment has a time and place associated with its occurrence. Associating organism occurrence with quantitative map coordinates allows us to address numerous informatics, biological research and practical management problems. Mapping and analyzing geographic distributions of organisms or communities is a basic requirement in environmental management.

Founding members of this interest group recognized that there is a broader geospatial standards community addressing issues highly relevant to TDWG. There is a need to appraise and facilitate use of generic standards within biological community. A major goal of the GIG is to examine geospatial standards and to make recommendations for their use in biological information systems. The GIG is also in a position to advice geospatial standards groups on bioinformatics.

The GIG is the appropriate venue for organising and spawning new geospatially related Task Groups for TDWG. Task Group examples include but are not limited to

  • interoperability experiments that crosscut TDWG and OGC specifications
  • defining applicability standards based on use of existing (e.g., OGC, ISO) geospatial standards
  • providing recommendations on the use of named geographic areas within biological data
  • managing reference lists of names/codes for administrative regions (e.g., the old TDWG areas standard)

Becoming Involved

This group welcomes participation from interested parties from both the biological and geospatial perspectives. Members of the group are interested in standards and technologies for analyzing and visualizing biodiversity data in a spatial context. Experts in geographic standards realize that biological information poses considerable challenges to geospatial data integration.

Participants involved in other TDWG groups that utilize geospatial information are strongly encouraged to participate to assist in the development of applicability statements and interoperability test beds.

The TDWG process requires that new Task Groups be launched through an Interest Group. The GIG can facilitate establishment of new Task Groups that relate to geospatial standards and applications. Please contact the Convener or Core Members to discuss potential projects.


Latest News

Geointeroperability Workshop Outcomes


A workshop hosted at CRIA during the first week in April 2007 clearly demonstrated the interoperability between TDWG and OGC standards. A Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed between TDWG and OGC and this work is a...[more]

Geospatial Interest Group Charter Approved


TDWG Executive Committee Approved The Geospatial Interest Group Charter [more]

TDWG GeoInteroperability Testbed Pilot Project


On the 1st week of April a marvelous group of people are meeting together to save the world of standards...[more]

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  Last Modified: 19 February 2009