Introducing BIEN 4
BIEN 4 is a major upgrade and expansion of the BIEN 3 database. BIEN 4.0 was released on May 9, 2018. Improvements include:
- More data:
- 18,844,855 more observations (23% increase)
- 25 million more trait measurements (an 18-fold increase!)
- Improved coverage of southern South America
- New data sources from Eurasia, Africa and Australia
- Expanded metadata, including more detailed information on methods and provenance of trait data. See the BIEN 4 data dictionary for details.
- New validations and standardizations:
- GNRS (Geographic Name Resolution Service): Standardization of political division names in accordance with GeoNames standards
- Dates: Dates parsed and extracted to yyyy-mm-dd format, with support for "fuzzy dates" (e.g., month but no day). Original values preserved for comparison and further resolution.
- Elevation: Altitudes parsed and converted to meters, with support for ranges. Original values preserved for comparison and further resolution.
- Improved validations:
- NSR (Native Species Resolver): Expanded reference database now provides native/introduced status assessments for taxon occurrences in the majority of New World countries.
- TNRS (Taxonomic Name Resolution Service): Improved filtering of higher taxa removes non-plant names in source database that were previously fuzzy matched to land plant names. Support for fungus and algal taxonomy.
- Complete, raw validation results are available for querying
- An interactive data dictionary provides names and definitions of all tables, column and constrained vocabulary.
There are two ways to access and download publicly accessible data within BIEN 4:
- biendata.org to access and visualize BIEN data (observations, traits, geographic ranges, plots) on a per species basis
- R BIEN – For multi species queries of all BIEN data. See also here for the R BIEN publication. All RBIEN code has been updated to support BIEN 4 schema changes.