Topic: V5 webservices

Documentation and examples for V5 was made available in June last year and I thought it was worth asking who is now using webservices, either in-house for searches or (of more immediate interest to me) to display maps or species lists on their website, especially using enhanced access to their own datasets? Ben and Paul were the only ones who posted in the earlier thread - how have you both got on, and has anyone else had a go?

I'd love to be able to find the time to experiment myself, but realistically as I don't already know PHP, JavaScript, Java or C# I am unlikely to be developing exciting implementations myself any time soon... sad

Teresa Frost
WeBS National Organiser, BTO. NFBR Council Member.

Re: V5 webservices

Hi Teresa,

I hit initial issues in regards to the documentation as it does not cover desktop applications or .NET (which we use). The documentation is primarily aimed at using the services in websites and web applications the documentation seems to cover that kind of use pretty well.

That said we did eventually get together a functional desktop based application that can use a polygon (currently only set up to use MapInfo, but other systems shouldn't be much additional work) to download data using our LRC permissions (or user permissions) and export as a spreadsheet.

v5 is a bit of a pain in that the response is no longer structured anything like the previous services. A big issue for us is that you can no longer get the metadata along side the records and so you need to make additional service requests and then merge the information client side. (if that's what you want to do).

The service itself seems to work fast for the most part but there is still no way to filter out poor resolution data. As a result you end up with masses of 10km data that bears no relation to your query and then has the be stripped out. Its a pain because it increases server load, the time to process the request and then client side faff.

Unfortunately, the development work has taken forever as it's un-funded and therefore not considered a priority.

I think COFNOD have done much more complete work on this?

Ben Deed - LERC Officer
Merseyside BioBank

Re: V5 webservices

We have basic webservice species maps on our public website at … bn_g5_maps

We have more enhanced services on our Partner Pages (restricted access) which allow data searches of circles and rectangles, returning records or species lists. Enhanced access is supported. The "missing" features from G4 such as unwanted records with coarse grid refs had to be implemented by downloading all records and discarding on arrival. The PHP/javascript isn't based on their examples as I'd mostly figured-out how to do things before these became available.

We also have a crude prototype flow that takes the downloaded records and adds on the Common Name, Taxonomic order, X, Y, Resolution and species status information (from the JNCC spreadsheet) onto the records so that they can be imported into GIS and used just like data from Recorder and MapMate.


Re: V5 webservices

Brief update. As of last week we are now fully integrating v5 web services with our normal reporting (merging NBN and local data and reporting on all data-sets accessed). I still hope to release a simple polygon query tool for volunteers in the future.

Ben Deed - LERC Officer
Merseyside BioBank