Arctos collaboration with Global Biodiversity Interactions (GloBI)

by Teresa J. Mayfield-Meyer

One result of networking at SPNHC 2019 was a potential collaboration with Global Biodiversity Interactions (GloBI). Casual discussions with Jorrit Poelen of GloBI after one of our presentations set off a plan for construction of a GloBI <> Arctos bridge.

GloBI provides open access to finding species interaction data (e.g., predator-prey, pollinator-plant, pathogen-host, parasite-host) by combining existing open datasets using open source software. Because Arctos carries these kinds of relationships in ways that can be harvested by GloBI, Jorrit is working on a method to capture our interactions from data at VertNet and incorporate them into GloBI. The process will work something like this:

  1. GloBI selects Arctos Archives via Vertnet IPT at by selecting titles that include “(Arctos)”
  2. Select only records with “associated occurrences”
  3. Create an “interaction types” map from Arctos terms to RO terms
  4. Import each occurrence pair as an interaction claim, making a link straight into the occurrence record in Arctos
  5. Arctos associated occurrences will now be available via GloBI for relevant interaction terms!
  6. Optionally and hopefully, establish per-record/specimen link from Arctos to GloBI for those that are indexed by GloBI.
  7. Then, repeat steps 1-5/6 periodically and automatically to keep the Arctos-GloBI interaction index up-to-date.

For creating reciprocal links into GloBI, Jorrit hopes to use the source URIs. An example of how they do this already can be seen in a relationship created in iNaturalist. Currently, a search in GloBi for [What does Enhydra lutris eat? includes and links to an iNaturalist Observation which, in turn, links back to into GloBI.

Jorrit expects that a similar approach can be taken using Arctos URIs like and that to verify active links, Arctos can periodically retrieve a list of indexed Arctos specimen records in the same way iNaturalist does.

Our next big idea is to have GloBI pick up Arctos “same individual as” relationships and become an organism ID resolver for the entire community. As Shannen Robson at UMNH  would say, “Arctos Goals”!


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