A how-to guide for Dandjoo users.
If you’re using Dandjoo for the first time, check out the information below to learn more about the various elements of the Dandjoo desktop interface:
- Toggle between map and table view: View search results on a map, or in a summary table.
- Search filters: Use filters to narrow down your search by location, species, timeframe, data provider, or dataset. (See more at Searching Dandjoo.)
- Get support: Check out our user and data provider documentation.
- Provide feedback: Get in touch with us via our contact page.
- Register to provide data: Sign up to become a data provider. (See more in our Data Provider Toolkit.)
- Log in as a registered data provider: Visit the data submission interface if you are a data provider.
- Draw your own search polygon or circle: Use our drawing tools to define your own search area.
- Customise your map view: Change the base map or view additional layers. (See more at Map view and Table view.)
- Export data: Download your search results as a .csv file or Shapefile. (See more at Downloading the data.)
Dandjoo is optimised for desktop view in Chrome and Safari browsers, and also performs well in Edge and Firefox.
However, we do provide a mobile interface that offers a selection of key features available on desktop.
If you are using Dandjoo on a mobile device, you will still be able to search, access map and table view, and use layers. However, to export your search results or submit data, you’ll need to visit the desktop site.
Dandjoo currently allows users to search and filter species observation records by five main attributes:
- Location: Search by Local Government Area, IBRA region, or Conservation area. Alternatively, you can draw your own search area - see the Map view section of this page for more information.
- Species: Search by genus or species. Further information about searching by taxonomic name is provided below.
- Timeframe: Search for observations that were made between a start date and end date.
- Data provider: Search for data provided by a specific organisation or individual (as submitted by the data provider).
- Dataset: Search by dataset name (as submitted by the data provider).
You can search using multiple filters, but note that only one value can currently be entered per filter (for example, you may only enter one species name or data provider).
Enhancing search is a priority for future releases of Dandjoo, so do get in touch if you’d like to suggest a feature or refinement.
Searching by species name
Species names may change over time as researchers understand more about evolutionary relationships between taxa.
This can be a challenge for biodiversity database managers, as the name provided by a data submitter represents a point in time, and does not capture synonyms.
BIO has worked to provide an enhanced search experience that accounts for this limitation. The information below explains how Dandjoo handles taxonomic names, and how these are used in search.
Searching and taxonomic names in Dandjoo
- Search by taxonomic rank: You can search by genus or species in the ‘Species’ field, and Dandjoo will return any results containing your search term. At launch, Dandjoo does not support searching by higher or lower ranks.
- Search suggestions: The ‘Species’ field will use the first three letters of a genus to suggest search results.
- Common names: Dandjoo is searchable by any species or genus name recognised in Western Australia, but does not currently provide a common name search.
- Recorded and accepted names: When you enter a value in the ‘Species’ field, Dandjoo will search both the name originally recorded by the data provider, and the accepted (current) name appended by BIO and return all records. Note that the accepted name is applied based on the best information available at the time from the Western Australian Herbarium and Western Australian Museum. However, in some cases BIO may not be able to assign a current name (for instance, in the case of a taxonomic split). When sourcing information from Dandjoo, you should review the species name as originally recorded and make your own assessment, rather than relying wholly on the most recent current name applied by BIO.
- Uncertainty: In some instances, submissions may include ambiguity or ‘known unknowns’. For instance, ‘sp.’ and ‘aff.’ are common ways of recording ambiguity in a species name. Dandjoo retains these elements when displaying the name originally recorded by the data provider, but reduces the accepted name to only include elements that are not uncertain. For instance, if a submission states ‘Eucalyptus sp.’ or ‘Acacia aff. aneura’, then these will be shown in the recorded name field. However, the accepted name field will show ‘Eucalyptus’ or ‘Acacia’.
Displaying species observation records
When you search in map view, species observation records will be displayed as clusters of points.
As you zoom in, the clusters will split apart to show more detailed locations. (However, if multiple observations have been recorded at the same location, that cluster will always display the total number of observations.)
If you would like to view more information about a record, or a cluster of records, just click on it to expand the information panel.
Note that the information panel will only display when you have zoomed in closely to the records you are interested in.
Data is more useful with context. We provide a number of overlays you can display on the map, largely sourced from the Western Australia’s open data portal, Data WA.
Current overlays in Dandjoo
- IBRA Regions: Bioregions based on the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) framework. These regions are key to environmental planning and assist ecological understanding of the land. Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA), Version 7 (Regions) is developed and provided by the Australian Government.
- Local Government Areas: Local government administrative boundaries for gazetted towns, councils, and shires. (Landgate dataset LGATE-233).
- Conservation Areas: Shows DBCA’s ‘Legislated Lands and Waters dataset’, including areas protected under the CALM Act (1984), Swan and Canning Rivers Management Act (2006) and the Land Administration Act (1997). (Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions dataset DBCA-011).
- Cadastre: The cadastre is a simplified representation of all land parcel boundaries in Western Australia. It provides land ownership information frequently used for property and planning purposes. It is an extremely detailed overly, so you will need to zoom in to see the details. (Landgate dataset LGATE-002)
- Mining Tenements: Shows live tenements in green and pending tenements in blue. Please note that simply because a tenement exists, it does not mean that mining activity is occurring. (Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety dataset DMIRS-003)
- Pastoral Leases: Pastoral leases are leases over Crown land giving a lessee the right to graze livestock on natural vegetation. (Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage dataset DPLH-083)
- Ramsar Wetlands: Boundaries of the nine wetland areas in Western Australia listed as Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. (Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions dataset DBCA-010)
Viewing vegetation associations
We also provide a vegetation association overlay. Click ‘Vegetation’ in the layer menu to display this layer.
(Note that this is a very detailed overlay, so you may need to wait for it to load depending on your connection speed.)
Dandjoo currently displays submitted vegetation association data as a simple overlay. However, BIO is currently exploring alternative ways of presenting this data in future releases to enhance searchability and navigation.
Drawing your own search area
There are two ways to draw your own search area in Dandjoo’s map view. On the right of the screen, click the ‘Draw a filter’ box and choose one of the two options, polygon search or point search.
Polygon search: Click a series of points to define an enclosed shape. You can also activate and move individual points of your polygon by clicking on them.
Point search: Click on the map to define the centre of your search area and drag your cursor to expand the search area - the radius of the circle is shown as you draw.
Once you’ve defined your polygon or circle, click the ‘tick’ icon to finalise your search area.
To start again, click the bin icon. (Note that if you have clicked the ‘tick’ icon to lock in your search area, you will need to click the ‘Reset’ button to clear search results.)
About table view
Table view provides an alternative to Dandjoo's map view for species observation records. It provides a preview of your data that includes a selection of key fields.
(If you would like to access all fields rather than the subset shown in table view, read the Downloading the data section of this guide to learn about exporting your search results, and visit Data standards for more information about the fields that are available.)
Fields shown in table view
- Accepted name: The current, valid Western Australian scientific name for the organism (or the most recent known name where the current name cannot be determined due to a taxonomic split).
- Date: The date the organism was observed or the sample collected, as submitted by the data provider.
- Data provider: The organisation or individual that submitted the record. The data provider will generally be the owner of the data. Where this is not the case, the Rights Holder field (available in export) will indicate the owner.
- Latitude: Decimal latitude of the observation (WGS84).
- Longitude: Decimal longitude of the observation (WGS84).
- Recorded name: The scientific name for the organism recorded by the data provider at the time it was observed or sampled.
- Record ID: BIO’s unique identifier for a record - if you have a query about a specific record you can provide this number so we can identify it.
Click on the ‘Export’ button after searching to download the results of your search in .csv or Shapefile format.
Unlike table view, exports contain every standard field in the Dandjoo database - see Data standards for a full list of available fields.
Note that not every data provider will have uploaded values for each optional field. However, every record should contain species names (accepted and recorded), an observation date, and latitude and longitude. Optional fields may be blank where a submitter has not collected or provided them.
Exports are limited to 500,000 records to maintain site performance. However, if you’re interested in downloading more, you can visit our Download Centre to retrieve the most recent snapshot of the Dandjoo species observation database, as well as s snapshot of our vegetation association layer.
If you’re interested in a particular dataset and would like to see all the fields originally submitted - not just the standard Darwin Core fields - contact the BIO team to arrange an extract.
When using Dandjoo, it’s important to first consider the context in which data was collected and assess whether it is suitable for your analysis. Take a moment to review the tips below when making this assessment.
Presence, absence, and completeness:
Dandjoo currently displays presence data but not absence data.
Records on Dandjoo indicate where field scientists have both looked for, and found, a species - search results are closely related to survey effort in an area.
This means that Dandjoo does not provide a comprehensive overview of all species found within an area. Surveys conducted in the area may have only focused on particular taxa, or an area may not have been surveyed by any of our data providers. In short, if a species does not show on the map, it doesn’t mean the species does not occur there.
However, BIO is exploring ways to ingest and visualise absence data and survey effort data in future releases of the platform.
Dandjoo does provide a count of individuals observed as a standard field, where this information has been submitted by the data provider. If, say, four organisms of the same species were counted when an observation was made, the observation will appear in Dandjoo as a single record with a count of four in this field.
However, Dandjoo is not an ideal tool for assessing abundance, as provision of counts is optional, and counts are not collected at all by some data providers. Additionally, as discussed above, organisms may be present in an area but may not have been recorded or counted.
Conducting a targeted survey will generally be the most appropriate way to rigorously assess abundance.
Data quality and provenance:
BIO does pre-screen data submitters and undertake curation work to enhance data quality. However, the underlying quality of a dataset relies on the work done when the data was collected. If you’re unsure about whether particular data in Dandjoo is fit-for-purpose for your analysis, please do contact BIO for further information.
Guidelines, services and standards
Frequently asked questions
Why is my species missing from Dandjoo?
If you are unable to find any data about a particular species, it may be restricted if the species is a threatened or priority one, in line with the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
For more information, see How can I see data about threatened and other sensitive species?
Does Dandjoo accept data for taxa that can’t be identified to genus level?
At present, we’re only ingesting records that relate to organisms that have been identified to a genus level. However, we’re aware that this poses some limitations for invertebrate observations, and it’s something we’re keen to enhance in future releases.
How do I attribute data I’ve sourced from Dandjoo?
When citing information retrieved via Dandjoo, you should attribute it to the Rights Holder. The Rights Holder for each record is identified any data extracts downloaded from Dandjoo.
You should also reference Dandjoo as the source, citing DBCA as the publisher – for instance ‘Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions [current year] Dandjoo search accessed on the [date of search]’.
How is the data in Dandjoo licensed?
The data in Dandjoo is generally provided under a CC BY 4.0 licence, except where:
- the record indicates it has been provided by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessment (IBSA) program (which allows for bespoke licensing arrangements); or
- the data relates to a threatened species or ecological community under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, where limitations to data sharing apply.
If you’re uncertain about the licensing conditions that apply, contact us and we’ll help you out.
What do I do if I have a question about a specific record or dataset?
We’ll be happy to help you out if you send us a message. Make a note of the Record ID or dataset name you’re asking about and we’ll look into it for you. If we can’t give you an answer right away, we’ll get in touch with the original data provider on your behalf.
How can I see data about threatened and other sensitive species?
Information relating to threatened species and ecological communities is not publicly available via BIO. BIO is trialling the delivery of this functionally for approved internal users, but at the current time threatened species information still needs to be requested via DBCA’s Species and Communities Branch.
BIO is also working with other States and Territories to develop a national best-practice approach to sharing threatened species data to the public with reduced geographic precision. When complete, this approach will be implemented in Dandjoo, safely allowing public users to view threatened species records.
Who can submit data to Dandjoo?
At launch, we’re prioritising datasets collected from industry surveys and by the research sector. We recognise the value of all data sources, including citizen science data, and as Dandjoo matures we’ll explore ways to ingest data from a wider variety of sources while allowing users more control over the types of data they want to see.
Do get in touch if you’re interested in providing data – we’re keen to talk to you.
Does Dandjoo contain data from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Index of Biodiversity Surveys for Assessment (IBSA)?
Dandjoo has been pre-populated with data provided directly by the private sector - this data is considerably richer than that submitted for IBSA and covers a longer time period.
The BIO team is currently working on ingestion of the entire collection of historical IBSA datasets, and these will appear in Dandjoo as each is processed.
Is Dandjoo’s data the same data that DBCA used to provide on the NatureMap platform?
The datasets previously provided via NatureMap are now available in Dandjoo. (We’ve also updated some of these datasets where refreshed data is available, and will continue to work with data custodians to update them periodically.)
Dandjoo’s collection is considerably larger than that previously available in NatureMap, as it also includes new datasets from industry, researchers, and regulatory agencies.
Does Dandjoo contain both terrestrial and marine data?
Most records in Dandjoo relate to terrestrial species, since much of the data is generated by industry processes - for example surveys undertaken for regulatory approvals. However, marine data is not entirely absent - for example, many marine species are represented in records from the Western Australian Museum.
What kinds of data can I find in Dandjoo?
Dandjoo currently accepts three types of data:
Species occurrence data: This is data about where a species was observed. When these datasets are provided to BIO, they contain a list of records by species, with information about the date and place each was observed. (Each record in a dataset may refer to one individual of the species, or may include a count to indicate how many individuals were observed.
Systematic survey data: This is data that relates to observations of multiple species in a systematic survey. When these datasets are provided to BIO, they generally contain a list of plots, and include information about all the species observed in each plot. In the leadup to the platform’s launch, we worked with data providers to restructure systematic survey data into species occurrence data where feasible. We appreciate that this approach results in the loss of rich site information - one of our priorities for the future is to enhance Dandjoo’s ability to ingest and visualise systematic survey data.
Vegetation association data: These datasets contain polygons that define the boundaries of vegetation associations. Currently we’re providing these as a simple overlay that can be viewed in the map interface. As with systematic survey data, we’re planning to enhance the way in which this data is presented in future releases.
Can I connect to Dandjoo via an API?
Yes, check out our API documentation for details, and do tell us about what you're working on - we’re keen to hear about how you’re using the platform, and how we can support your project.
I have an idea for a new feature – can you implement it in the next version of Dandjoo?
We want to make sure future development is informed by users, and are keen to have your input. You can also contact us to find out more about our forthcoming User Consultation Committee, and how your sector is represented.
How is Dandjoo different to other data sharing platforms?
For data providers, we’ve taken an approach that you shouldn’t need to use a template, provide a set number of fields, or - where possible - reformat date and location information data in your dataset to meet a prescribed format. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to submit data - if you’re providing species occurrence data, you can even use our self-service quality assurance tools to map columns in your dataset to those recognised by Dandjoo.
We’re also committed to maintaining the integrity of your data; if we have any questions about specific records in your dataset, we’ll let you know so you can decide whether you’d like us to make a correction or redact a record.
For data users our map-based interface is designed to be user-friendly and provide a familiar experience for those who have used other biodiversity data platforms. In addition, it is underpinned by a number of data quality innovations.
Data is reviewed by our team of curatorial staff prior to publication, and mapped to 33 key fields from the Darwin Core data standard. Dandjoo also retains all the original data fields submitted by the data provider, so we can extend those mappings in the future and even extend the platform to include additional standards.
The platform also contains a number of data sets that have never been released before, including data from the private sector, and the data undergoes routine curation to ensure that taxonomic name and conservation code information is kept up-to-date.
Does my business have to submit data to Dandjoo as part of a regulatory process?
There are no requirements to submit data directly to Dandjoo.
We’re currently working with the Environment Online team at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation on the implementation of an integrated data environment. This will mean that data submitted as part of a regulatory process will flow seamlessly into the platform. However, if your organisation has a collection of historical biodiversity data and would like to provide it to BIO, please do let us know.
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