GBIF launches hosted portal service

Following a successful pilot phase, Participant nodes and data publishers are invited to apply to showcase biodiversity data mobilized at national, regional, thematic and institutional scales

Mediterranean violet aeolid Flabellina affinis (Gmelin, 1791). Photo 2022 itaig95 via iNaturalist Research-grade Observations, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

The GBIF Secretariat is delighted to invite its network members to apply through an open call for hosted data portals.

The announcement builds on a pilot phase conducted in 2021 that produced eight websites that use GBIF’s global services to build simple customized platforms—each targeting a specific geographic, taxonomic or thematic community with a subset of the open biodiversity data that flows into GBIF.

The service leverages the global infrastructure built through GBIF’s collaboration and shared investment to provide participants with customizable, branded, multilingual websites. The result fulfills multiple visibility and engagement goals while minimizing the cost and effort required of any individual country or institution.

GBIF node managers and representatives of an institution or group of institutions that already publish data through GBIF can apply now to set up a hosted portal. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, without a deadline, and prospective applicants should review key information about the programme prior to submitting an application.

Each hosted portal consists of a simple, customizable website and data portal hosted and maintained on the GBIF infrastructure. The programme's pilot phase in 2021 saw the release of eight sites that offer data access across various dimensions of the GBIF network, from national (Colombia, South Africa and the United States) and institutional (NHM Rotterdam) to regional (Pacific) and thematic (the German Virtual Herbarium and the Legume Data Portal).

GBIF hosted portals complement other tools and services available to network members by providing GBIF Participant nodes, publishers and networks with a stable, branded web presence hosted securely within the global infrastructure. By reducing budget investments directed toward custom web development and hosting, this service allows network members to deliver the results of their data mobilization efforts and to shift their focus toward other critical community activities like data management and stakeholder engagement.

Participant nodes and their networks play an essential role in promoting the use of biodiversity data mobilized through GBIF," said Mélianie Raymond, senior programme officer for engagement at the GBIF Secretariat. "With the collaborative spirit that emerged during the pilot phase, I'm excited to see the community make use of GBIF hosted portals to support wider engagement and data access."

Hosted portals give nodes and network members a website and data-access point that describes them and their work using their visual identity and supports display local languages through community-led translation. Basic functionality of the portals includes advanced occurrence data search, maps and image galleries similar to those found on The results in each portal are limited to a defined geographic, taxonomic or institutional portion of the GBIF data index.

The limited functionality provided by the hosted portals means that they will not meet the needs of every user community. For example, they do not yet enable discovery of checklist datasets, restrict access to data on sensitive species, or support additional spatial layers. While the Secretariat will explore increased functionality in the future, hosted portals should not be viewed as a substitute for more complex systems such as those developed by the Living Atlases community using the open-source platform originally created by the Atlas of Living Australia.

For more information, please direct questions and comments about the programme to