C5.86 Data portal prototype

Based on the “Data Portal” mock-ups, the Botanic Garden & Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have developed a web application prototype which publishes taxonomic data as stored in a cdm (Common data Model) data store. The Data Portal requests data by connecting to the cdm web services which are an integral component of the cdm library and application suite within the EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy.

In the current stage of its evolution, this application clearly shows the feasibility of the chosen technical concepts. The data currently visible is mainly taxon and name related and thus encompasses the taxa, taxonomic concepts, scientific names and related references including author teams. In addition to connecting the data portal to the cdm store, usability has been one of the main focuses for this prototype. According to our research there is no available user interface component which is appropriate and able to handle vast taxonomic trees. Thus a new taxonomic tree browser has been developed that solves most usability and performance problems. The taxonomic tree can not only be examined and browsed; it can also be filtered and offers simplifying view modes helping users to exactly focus on the taxa and groups of their interest. Furthermore, it allows switching between conceptual views. By using an overlay technique it is able to display even long taxon names without interfering with other data to be displayed on the same page. The layout of the new data portal prototype is themable, i.e. its appearance can easily be changed to present another look and feel. Individual themes already exist for the three wp6 exemplar groups.