Data Enrichment Hackathon

March 17th - 21st 2014

Leiden, the Netherlands

Recent years have seen a surge in projects that produce large volumes of biodiversity data. Examples of these are structured, machine-readable data as extracted from digitised heritage biodiversity literature, species occurrence data, comparative data for phylogenetics, taxonomies, digitised collection specimens, and so on.

These data can be represented in a variety of standards-compliant interchange formats (using XML, RDF, JSON, etc.) making them amenable to processing by generic, open source “data enrichment” workflows. The idea is simple - enrich biodiversity data with meaningful links to related resources, such as links from named locations to standardized georeferences, links from taxon names to taxon concept URIs, links from characters and traits to trait ontologies, links to relevant images, semantic descriptions of data provenance, links to publications, and so on.

To this end, we would like to invite you to the “Data enrichment hackathon that will take place March 17th - 21st, 2014 at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, in Leiden, the Netherlands. The hackathon will bring together domain experts in biodiversity informatics from a variety of subdisciplines to be creative with biodiversity data and to write code. The end result will be open source tooling that will allow stakeholders to re-use and enhance biodiversity knowledge. We think that such tooling might include tools that add properties to data; that convert between formats, expanded controlled vocabularies or ontologies; data integrators; annotations and query tools, etc.

The hackathon is organised with the support of Naturalis [1] in the scope of the pro-iBiosphere project[2], an FP7 e-infrastructure project that focuses on making biodiversity data and information (now entrapped in literature) open, linked and digital. pro-iBiosphere has the vision of implementing an Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management System (OBKMS), i.e. an integration platform that will allow to produce Biotas (i.e. Floras, Faunas, Mycotas and other revisionary taxonomic literature) of the future in a flexible semantically-driven online environment.


We would very much appreciate if you can state your intent to participate by the 14th of February 2014 at the latest. In order to facilitate the organisation of the event and be aware of your interests and specialties please fill in a brief questionnaire [3]. We have limited funding to support the participation and travel costs of a number of participants. In case you need funding to join the Hackathon, please indicate this in your response to the questionnaire. If you are not able to participate but have suggestions for other colleagues that could join the hackathon, please let us know.

The agenda, accommodation and other relevant information is available on our wiki[4]. For any additional question please email or 

We look forward to seeing you in Leiden!


With best regards,

Rutger Vos and Soraya Sierra