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NPT Frequently Asked Questions

This frequently asked questions supports the survey to the GBIF Nodes on the Nodes Portal Toolkit send out on 7 November 2011. Please inform us if the information given here is not sufficient.

Why community development of web portals in GBIF?

Web portals on biodiversity information play a crucial role in promoting the mission of GBIF and engaging with (potential) users in science and society. Joint collaboration of web portals within GBIF demonstrates the strength of the GBIF network. Sharing a common platform for the development of web portals enables the re-use of components, and will promote cost efficiency. The Nodes Portal Toolkit (NPT) will provide the platform to enable the joint development of web portals or components thereof by Nodes.

What is the Nodes Portal Toolkit?

The Nodes Portal Toolkit (NPT) is a platform which enables GBIF Nodes to rapidly deploy and maintain their own biodiversity data web-portal in a customizable way. The NPT will interact with the data and functionality available through the main GBIF portal to allow a rich presentation to your audience. NPT is designed as a common technical platform for use within the community to optimize the development and use of tools across partners.

What are the Objectives of the NPT project?

  1. Publish a platform that allows the rapid deployment, development and maintenance, of national, thematic, regional biodiversity portals making maximum use of the GBIF functionality.
  2. Develop a technical strategy backed by the GBIF community that allow for the development of more complex functionality.
  3. Establish a GBIF community around the system that is capable of supporting and extending the functionality of the NPT further.

What is the Scope of the NPT?

The NPT is a platform to facilitate discovery and access to GBIF data at a national, regional or thematic level, including the possibility to integrate additional sources of information at a national (or a thematic) level, including, for example, blogs, news, relevant data. The primary users of specific NPT instances are the end users. The node managers, specifically the technical teams involved in GBIF Participant Nodes and/or relevant biodiversity information networks, will use the NPT to set up and fill the content of their biodiversity portals. The NPT should enable the node managers to customize the way GBIF-compliant data are served to their own community or a specific group of data users. NPT-based portals are envisioned as an important public relations and communication tool for GBIF Participant Nodes, serving also to demonstrate the possibilities that the GBIF network offers at different levels.

What is Drupal?

The current development strategy for the NPT is based on a website-building framework known as Drupal. Drupal is also a Content Management System (CMS), which provides a rich set of website functionalities (over 9000 modules to choose from). The GBIF community can contribute to the NPT project by developing new Drupal modules, which can be made available to the community.
One of the reasons Drupal is proposed is that it has already been adopted by many users from within the biodiversity informatics world including the Encyclopedia of Life (http://www.EoL.org), the Scratchpads (http://www.scratchpads.eu) or the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (http://www.iOBIS.org).
The intention of the NPT development is to progressively create a set of further Drupal modules to better integrate the biodiversity data available through GBIF, starting with a core set of modules (NPT Startup, formerly NPT1) which can be extended (NPT Advanced) through time.

What is the overall strategy?

The overall strategy is to:

  • Assess the demand for the release of the NPT Startup by reviewing this with the Nodes community. Assuming there is support then initial efforts will be focused on getting this product released.
  • Review and clarify the requirement for more advanced functionality and gauge the level of demand and commitment to contribute from the Nodes community.

The Nodes Portal Toolkit development is based on the needs expressed by the Nodes community. Feedback from the nodes is essential all along the development process.

What will the NPT Startup do for you?

NPT Startup will be developed to get things started, offering an initial platform on which further developments can be taken over by the community of users. NPT startup is especially directed at those Nodes with little web development capacity.
Through a setup page, you will be offered to register your NPT instance in the GBIF Registry, and to choose the context (region, country, organisms) on which you want your website to focus. You will then gain access to  your own pre-populated biodiversity data website, and to the following functionalities:

  • Customization of the look and feel of your Website
  • Management of your users
  • Taxonomic Name processing
  • Backup process
  • Search the website
  • Management of languages
  • Display your biodiversity maps
  • Management of your multimedia content
  • Building of your species page
  • Management/display of relevant RSS Feeds
  • Management/display of your Blog(s)

Please see http://npt-demo.gbif.org/ to view a demo site of the sort of functionality envisaged for NPT Startup. This site was built in a relatively short time. Please also see the Nodes Portal Toolkit Primer for additional information on NPT Startup.

What will the NPT Advanced do for you?

The NPT Startup will provide a basic set of generic functionality primarily based on the functionality available through the central GBIF index and portal. However, the requirement for many users is more advanced than this and might include, for example, filtering on a range of data sources or taxonomic groups, much richer mapping functionality, or features that are unique and important to some nodes while not directly relevant to others. The NPT Advanced aims to develop and release this richer functionality. It is anticipated that this advanced functionality will be developed with input and direct contribution from the broader nodes community.

Please also see the Nodes Portal Toolkit Primer for additional information on NPT Advanced at: http://community.gbif.org/pg/pages/view/18233/npt-primer

Why a survey on the Nodes Portal Toolkit?

The objective of the first survey is to assess the level of interest in applying the NPT Startup and in particular the commitment of the Nodes to the concept of community development of this tool. A second survey will go more in depth into the level of commitment of the Nodes for NPT Startup and NPT Advanced and identifying priorities for development. This approach was broadly agreed during the 11th Global Nodes Meeting in Buenos Aires though the detail has been refined subsequent to the meeting.

Where can I find the latest information?

The results of the first survey will be communicated through the GBIF community website at: http://community.gbif.org/pg/groups/3507/nodes-portal-toolkit-npt

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Last updated 2292 days ago by Bruno Danis