Web services documentation | Emodnet Biology

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Web services documentation

EMODnet Biology Data

The EMODnet Biology data are available as a Web Feature Service (WFS) in accordance with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) specifications. This webservice supports requests for geographical feature data (with vector geometry and attributes). The base link for performing a WFS request to EMODnet Biology is:


Essentially, the Download Toolbox developed by EMODnet Biology acts as an interactive builder for WFS requests . The URL to the WFS request can be copied to the clipboard at the last step of the selection in the Download Toolbox.

Technical details of the WFS can be retrieved by following GetCapabilities request:



Building a WFS query to get data

For composing your own query, you need to combine different parts:

  1. the base url
  2. the data format
  3. filtering options (optional)
  4. the output format

1. The base url:

The base link for performing a WFS request to EMODnet Biology is:


2. The data format:

There are three data formats presented by EMODnet Biology.

  • Basic Occurrence Data
  • Full Occurrence Data
  • Full Occurrence Data and Parameters

The syntax for specifying a data format is:


You can find more information about the terms returned by each download type in the documentation.

3. Filtering options:

In this part you can filter the result by several parameters. We highlight three options:

  • Taxonomy
  • Geography
  • Dataset

These filter options are linked to other services that you can find at the end of this page.

4. The output format:

EMODnet Biology data are available in a number of output formats, which are indicated at the end of the WFS request as:

For other output formats, see the GetCapabilities request which returns the complete list of output formats available for each type of WFS request: https://geo.vliz.be/geoserver/Dataportal/ows?service=wfs&version=1.1.0&request=GetCapabilities


EMODnet Biology summary and data product services

In addition to the three data formats, EMODnet Biology also makes available through its webservices the possibility of returning the total occurrences count for a certain query, its occurrence data as a geospatial grid, and the data products developed by the EMODnet Biology community:


Other marine biogeographical data systems

EMODnet Biology follows the FAIR principles. The data formats available via EMODnet Biology allow for enhanced interoperability by providing links to controlled vocabularies, like the World Record of Marine Species (WoRMS), MarineRegions.org and the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC). It also has links to the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS), a system developed by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) where information about people, organisations, publications and more is stored and managed. You can find more information about the webservices offered by each of these data systems in their documentation pages:


R client for EMODnet Biology webservices:

EMODnet Biology data are accessible via an R package eurobis, which provides webservice wrapper. You can find more information on the GitHub repository:

Some data applications using EMODnet Biology data has been written in R using the shiny framework: These are available at:



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