20 of Europe's most famous Natural History Museums and Botanical Gardens in 11 European countries have joined together to form SYNTHESYS - The world' largest network of this kind.
The goal is to bring together an immense resource for scientific research, consisting of collections, institute facilities and expertise, together with integrated information about the natural world. Please visit the SYNTHESYS Website for further information.

Our Part

The task of the Natural History Museum Berlin, Germany, is making the earth science collection databases of the participating European Institutions available on the internet, building on and extending the ABCD Schema (Access to Biological Collection Database). ABCD is a common data specification for biological collection units, including living and preserved specimens, along with field observations that did not produce voucher specimens. It is intended to support the exchange and integration of detailed primary collection and observation data. The data specification is cast as an XML schema.

Past Events
Meeting on
Implementation of the ABCDEFG-Schema for specimen-based earth science collection data, Berlin from 1 - 3 rd February 2007.
Workshop report
First International Workshop on Mobilising Earth Science Data, Berlin, 14 - 16 July 2005 Workshop report



The main objective for Task D is to engage and aid the active participation by all European countries in the delivery and expansion of information systems that bring the information held by
the partner facilities to all sectors of society that depend on organism-related information for their research and/or decision making processes. The principle followed in past and future is to create and augment expandable information services, which provide researchers with ongoing access to data while leaving the control over the information supply in the hands of the information providers.

Building on and actively incorporating results of previous EU-funded initiatives that have laid the base for a European collection information service(1) and in lively interaction with the emerging biodiversity informatics infrastructure represented by GBIF, the activity will:

Pool, extend, and synchronise semantic data definitions, standard data sources, and data standards to increase the efficiency of the data network, harmonize data usage in research, and increase the quality of
cross-network content provision in the following areas:

Develop comprehensive information models for neglected collection information domains (anthropology and earth-sciences) and use the models to extend standard XML schemas.

(1) FP-5 projects ENHSIN, BioCASE, ENBI, Concerted Actions BioCISE (FP-4) and CDEFD (FP-3).