API services

How to import and get data!

Every OpenDataBio installation provide a API service, allowing users to GET data programmatically, and collaborators to POST new data into its database. The service is open access to public data, requires user authentication to POST data or GET data of restricted access.

The OpenDataBio API (Application Programming Interface -API) allows users to interact with an OpenDataBio database for exporting, importing and updating data without using the web-interface.

The OpenDataBio R package is a client for this API, allowing the interaction with the data repository directly from R and illustrating the API capabilities so that other clients can be easily built.

The OpenDataBio API allows querying of the database, data importation and data edition (update) through a REST inspired interface. All API requests and responses are formatted in JSON.

The API call

A simple call to the OpenDataBio API has four independent pieces:

  1. HTTP-verb - either GET for exports or POST for imports.
  2. base-URL - the URL used to access your OpenDataBio server + plus /api/v0. For, example, http://opendatabio.inpa.gov.br/api/v0
  3. endpoint - represents the object or collection of objects that you want to access, for example, for querying taxonomic names, the endpoint is “taxons”
  4. request-parameters - represent filtering and processing that should be done with the objects, and are represented in the API call after a question mark. For example, to retrieve only valid taxonomic names (non synonyms) end the request with ?valid=1.

The API call above can be entered in a browser to GET public access data. For example, to get the list of valid taxons from an OpenDataBio installation the API request could be:


When using the OpenDataBio R package this call would be odb_get_taxons(list(valid=1)).

A response would be something like:

        "namePublishedIn":"Juss. ex Bercht. & J. Presl. In: Prir. Rostlin: 235. (1820).",
        "ScientificNameID":"http:\/\/tropicos.org\/Name\/43000015 | https:\/\/www.gbif.org\/species\/407",

API Authentication

  1. Not required for getting any data with public access in the ODB database, which by default includes locations, taxons, bibliographic references, persons and traits.
  2. Authentication Required to GET any data that is not of public access, and is required to POST and PUT data.
  • Authentication is done using an API token, that can be found under your user profile on the web interface. The token is assigned to a single database user, and should not be shared, exposed, e-mailed or stored in version controls.
  • To authenticate against the OpenDataBio API, use the token in the “Authorization” header of the API request. When using the R client, pass the token to the odb_config function cfg = odb_config(token="your-token-here").
  • The token controls the data you can get and can edit

Users will only have access to the data for which the user has permission and to any data with public access in the database, which by default includes locations, taxons, bibliographic references, persons and traits. Measurements, individuals, and Vouchers access depends on permissions understood by the users token.

API versions

The OpenDataBio API follows its own version number. This means that the client can expect to use the same code and get the same answers regardless of which OpenDataBio version that the server is running. All changes done within the same API version (>= 1) should be backward compatible. Our API versioning is handled by the URL, so to ask for a specific API version, use the version number between the base URL and endpoint:



Quick reference

List of endpoints and parameters!

GET data

How to GET data with the OpenDataBio API!

POST data

How to import data into OpenDataBio!