About the BioCASe – WFO Specimen Explorer

The Data

The data are made freely available under the conditions outlined in the Dataset section of the specimen details.
The data are intended to assist taxonomists in their research, especially to discover specimens that may be of importance for their revisionary and floristic work. Although data providers and the BioCASe team try to introduce measures to improve data quality, discoverability is currently is the priority. As a consequence, unrevised and erroneous data may have been included and the data should not be used for other purposes without proper scientific scrutiny.


The Biological Collection Access Service BioCASe provides a series of tools and services for the networking of biological collection and other species occurrence data, in the context of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, GBIF. The BioCASe Secretariat and technical support is hosted by the Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin.
The BioCASe Specimen Explorer for Taxonomists was first implemented in the context of the European Union Network of Excellence EDIT (European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy) as a module of the Platform for Cybertaxonomy providing taxonomists with an effective and capable search interface for distributed specimen databases.

Technical implementation

The latest version of the software has been implemented using the Yii2 php-framework, a MySQL database for storing central index data, and an Apache Solr index for fast searching.

The harvesting of index data from distributed collection data provider nodes is carried out using the B-HIT software, an extension of the GBIF Harvesting and Indexing Toolkit (HIT) with improved management of multiple identifications and relations between specimens.

Software credits

Implementation: Patricia Kelbert, Gabriele Dröge, Anne Hartebrodt, Rukeia El-Athman
Specifications and interface design: Gabriele Dröge, Walter Berendsohn, Wolf-Henning Kusber, Elke Zippel, Anton Güntsch
AnnoSys: Lutz Suhrbier, Tschöpe, Wolf-Henning Kusber & Walter Berendsohn

Software licensing

All Specimen Explorer portal software components are freely available under the Mozilla Public License Scheme at http://ww2.biocase.org/svn/wfo/.