OpenBioMaps: sustainable data management platform for biodiversity research and conservation and education
The OpenBioMaps has been founded in Hungary at 2011 to provide technical solution for biodiversity related data management in different areas such like Conservation (National Parks) and Scientific research (Universities and research institutes). There were no links between biodiversity data producers, curators and users. There were no common platform, to create bridges among conservation, science and education. Those who needed it made their own biodiversity data management system at their own cost, but they were less able to maintain them. Therefore, some of the institutions concerned have established cooperation to create a biodiversity data management platform that includes free services and free and open source software components.
This data platform is becoming increasingly popular in Hungary and other countries. Users are mostly researchers and conservation projects: small projects where there is no material coverage for building and maintaining their own systems; big projects where there were no previous data management system or used too costly solutions.
Around 90.000€ were needed until now (2011-2019) to develop web applications, mobile applications and set up servers. Nowadays 10.000€ / year is required to maintain error tracking and server operations.
Evidence of success
It used by 6 National Parks and around 20 research projects. Approximately 300 people use OBM based tools in their everyday work. Some new citizen science project could started, thanks to the free OBM tools, and several new connection built - forming a new community of biodiversity data producers curators and users.
In the first few years, in the absence of central support and management and the big community, the system was built very slowly. Without a central budget, there are no permanent developers, but we can pay volunteers occasionally. However, this solution slows down some long-term developments.
Potential for learning or transfer
Thanks to the open-source background and the flexible concept, this sustainable data management infrastructure easily adaptable in any regions and countries.