Topic: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Dear NBN Data Partners,

At the NBN Conference 2016 it was announced that the NBN Gateway will permanently close on 31st March 2017; the NBN Atlas  will supersede the NBN Gateway and will be live from 1st April 2017.

In order to allow time for datasets to be transferred from the NBN Gateway to the NBN Atlas ready for 1st April 2017 (where Data Partners have agreed to this), the deadline for data submissions to the NBN Gateway is Tuesday 28th February 2017. Unfortunately, any datasets submitted to the NBN Gateway after this date will not be accepted. All subsequent datasets for inclusion in the NBN Atlas will need to be submitted directly to the NBN Atlas (further information on this process will be available soon).

As we have already communicated to data partners, the transfer of datasets from the NBN Gateway to the NBN Atlas requires official approval in the form of a Data Partner Agreement. Thank you to everyone who has already returned their Agreements. The official deadline for the return of these has now passed, but we do still need to receive them from you.  If there are any remaining Data Partner Agreements to be submitted then please do so before 28th February 2017 in line with the final submission date for the NBN Gateway. After this date, datasets will need to be submitted directly to the NBN Atlas, along with the accompanying Data Partner Agreement. The Agreements have been sent to your dataset administrator for the NBN Gateway, so please check with them if you haven’t received it for action.

The last submission of data from the NBN Gateway to GBIF took place in December 2016. There will therefore be no further submissions of data from the NBN Gateway to GBIF; all future data submissions will be run from the NBN Atlas.

Further information regarding the transition from the NBN Gateway to the NBN Atlas for NBN Data Partners will be made available in due course.

Key dates at a glance
* 28 February 2017 - deadline for data submissions to the NBN Gateway
* 28 February 2017 - absolute deadline for return of Data Partner Agreements
* 31st March 2017 - NBN Gateway will close
* 1st April 2017 - NBN Atlas goes live

Thank you for your ongoing support with this major change to how we share our biodiversity data. If you have any questions please do get in touch with the NBN Secretariat at support@nbn.org.uk

Kind regards,
JNCC and NBN Secretariat

For further details on the NBN Atlas, please see https://nbn.org.uk/about-us/where-we-are/ and https://nbn.org.uk/blogs/atlas-blog/nbn … ss-update/


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

I'll just take a moment to mourn the Gateway - little did I know when I was first shown it at uni by friends doing conservation degrees at the start of the millennium that I would end up using it as much as I have!

Do we have any word yet on the outlook for web services?Will these cease to work on the 31st March also? I note these seem to have been suffering from the usual Gateway performance issues recently anyway and often maps fail to display, so they are not used as much as they might be. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to list a few sites of the sites I refer to/am aware of away from data.nbn.org.uk that may be affected. I guess as there are no access controls in the Atlas, the web services may be simpler to develop and use but will obviously be limited to publicly accessible data only.

Distribution maps on UK moths e.g.
http://ukmoths.org.uk/species/catarhoe- … bution-map

(I note the nmrs scheme website http://www.mothscount.org/text/8/maps.html was never rewritten for the change to Rest webservice with the last Gateway release (G5). Likewise some local websites such as the D&G moth website http://www.dgmoths.org.uk/species/macro … tler-moth)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8HMJva … e=youtu.be

R NBN tool

Tom.bio UK Species Inventory visualisation tool

Naturespot maps e.g.

Bedfordshire Natural History Society and Bedfordshire&Luton Biodiversity and Monitoring Recording Centre
http://www.bnhs.co.uk/focuson/NBN_gatew … /index.htm
http://www.bedscape.org.uk/BRMC/newsite … bn_g5_maps

https://www.britishbutterflies.co.uk/sp … 39&y=8

UK Ladybird survey
http://www.ladybird-survey.org/species_ … 6455+59604

Bees Wasps and Ants Recording Society

There are also quite a lot of places that links to the Gateway are autogenerated/used using the taxon version keys (e.g. a link on a page like http://www.nesbrec.org.uk/biomaps/ and I used to put them in GIS shapefiles for LERC partners)
Are these going to be automatically redirected to the UK atlas? i.e. a suitable redirect for

Teresa Frost | Wetland Bird Survey National Organiser | BTO
Other hat  | National Forum for Biological Recording Council
(Old hats  | NBN Board, ALERC Board, CBDC, KMBRC)


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Recorder 6 has a link from the species dictionary. eg, https://data.nbn.org.uk/Search?q=alcyonium+coralloides

Mike Weideli


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Outer Hebrides Biological Recording and Highland Biological Recording Group use NBN Easy Maps on their websites to show species distribution at the regional level. We raised the question of the future of this service on the ALS forum at the end of July and subsequently made it clear than unless there was a smooth transition to the replacement (if there is to be one) there is a possibility that we would not be able to continue to provide this information on our websites.
As small voluntary groups,  with no core funding and just a single voluntary data manager, the implementation of a new system which involves major changes to our local website databases or coding might be more than we can manage. The provision of local maps is popular with our recorders, it provides a quick and easy check on distribution within their local area without having to navigate through the national site.



Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Good morning Teresa, Mike and Christine,

Firstly, thank you Teresa for including the list of websites you are aware of that use the WebServices - this will be really useful over the next few months as we establish the Atlas APIs and support those using the NBN WebServices to transition over. 

As you may be aware we are currently recruiting for two posts to join the NBN Secretariat team.  These will be a;

-Systems Developer (https://nbn.org.uk/news/nbn-trust-system-developer/)
-Programmer (https://nbn.org.uk/news/national-biodiv … rogrammer/)

These roles will be supporting our current developer with the NBN Atlas development, and a large role of these posts early on will be adapting and establishing the WebServices for use within our community - including supporting those to rewrite their webservices where necessary. 

We will be bringing you more on webservices when these posts are recruited in the New Year.



Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

I was wondering what would happen with web services too as I make extensive use of them. I found the following additional nugget of information at https://nbn.org.uk/news/atlas-living-wales-update/

The web services for the Atlas of Living Wales will be modelled off the API for the Atlas of Living Australia, with different URLs.  Please also note that the services for the NBN Atlas Wales will be a subset of these services given the NBN Atlas Wales does not use all the components of the Atlas of Living Australia.

Jim Bacon


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Is there handy document (page on the atlas?) that details sensitive species and how these are treated?

Charlie Barnes
Information Officer
Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Is there a scoping document or roadmap for likely future Atlas API functionality Rachel?

Strongly recommend a strategy for seamless transition of embedded distribution maps to maintain internet community goodwill towards this project. :-)

What proportion of existing Gateway records are expected to migrate to Atlas for launch? Are there any large datasets will definitely cease to be available?


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Hi Charlie

Thanks for your post.  Discussion about the handling of sensitive species within the NBN Atlas is currently ongoing within the NBN Atlas Steering Group.  We will release details as soon as we can - please bear with us during this process.

Christine Johnston
NBN Scottish Liaison Officer


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Hi Dominic, Jim

Thanks for your posts about web services and APIs.  As Rachel has posted above we are currently recruiting a developer and a programmer and one of their priorities will be developing web services from the Atlas.

We are very aware that existing users will want to know what the new services will look like and how they will operate and we will release information about the services and the support that we will be able to offer as soon as we can.

The process of receiving permission to migrate records to the NBN Atlas platform is ongoing at the moment and we are hoping that most data providers will be able to give their permission by the deadline of the end of February.

Christine Johnston
NBN Scottish Liaison Officer


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

It's time we had a category for discussing issues surrounding NBN Atlas [UK].
Some of the above comments and observations fall into that category.
They'll be hard to track down if this is left until after the launch.


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Hello Darwyn

Many thanks for your suggestion.  New categories have now been added for all of the Atlas platforms and an update on where we are with these will be posted in the next week or so.




Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

I'm currently compiling a list of spp from various recorders anxious to blur the resolution of one or two species. It would be useful to know how close we are to having a list of "automatically blurred" sensitive species which the NBN will use for Atlas datasets. Is a list available?

I'm not sure whether this link will work here, but we have a template for species record sensitivity here if anyone's interested:
GCER sensitive species list template - download here
I intend to discuss with recorders whether to keep a copy of it on our website in case anyone wants to know a bit more about our NBN data. If we decide to, a link could possibly also go onto our NBN "front page" for GCER as well.



Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Hi Linda,

We should have more information on the sensitive species early next week and will post something on the NBN Forum and website as soon as it's ready.

Kind regards,


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Hi Mandy,
Sorry if I've missed it on the Forum (I did do a search!) but I still can't find this list; has it been produced yet?

best wishes



Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Hi Linda,

Sensitive species guidance has just been added and can be found here: https://nbnatlas.org/help/sensitive-species/

The sensitive species list can be found here at the moment and will have links to it from the guidance page too: https://nbnatlas.org/help/nbn-atlas-terms-use/ Scroll down to under 1.4.  We need to look at the format for the website, but at least you can see the species list.

I hope this helps.


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

The "sensitive species list" seems somewhat incomplete and patchy.  Why is the Great Crested Newt not classed as a sensitive species?


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates

Hi Matt,

This is way out of my field of expertise but I did notice that GCN is actually given as an example of when things are considered sensitive. The page linked above states

It is important to remember that the objective is to assess the sensitivity of the data and not the sensitivity of environmental features alone.  It is not advisable to assume that data is sensitive simply because the species it relates to has been identified as rare or threatened within a BAP or red-list.

For example, a pond that is important for Great Crested Newts could be deemed sensitive to damage from development, but sharing data relating to the site with the public may not result in harm occurring.  In fact making this information more widely available is likely to reduce the risk of accidental damage.

Jim Bacon


Re: Update on NBN Gateway and NBN Atlas with key dates


The Sensitive Species lists have been provided by the Statutory bodies (Natural England, Natural Resources Wales & Scottish Natural Heritage) the Great Crested Newt is currently not on any of them. We will ask them to confirm whether it should be.