LifeWatch e-Lab | Marinevre

LifeWatch e-Lab

The ultimate goal of LifeWatch is to set up a network for data exchange and data analysis through web services. Web services are systems that allow communication between two computers over the web, and allow the user to access the most recent and up-to-date information directly from within other applications.

In the framework of LifeWatch Belgium, several web services are being developed to standardize, analyze and visualize your data, and to extract additional data. An online tool was developed where users can select several web services at once in an easy, user friendly way. In this online interface the majority of the web services built by the Belgian LifeWatch partners are available.

These web services can also be used in a concatenated way, where the output of one web services is the input for the next web service. This is demonstrated in a few use cases.


Developed by: 

The online interface of the Belgian LifeWatch e-Lab is developed by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ).

Used data resources: 
  • MarineRegions (gazetteer)
  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) (biogeographic data system)
  • World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS(taxonomic database)
  • Catalogue of Life (CoL(taxonomic database)
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS(taxonomic database)
  • Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure (PESI(taxonomic database)
  • International Plant Names Index (IPNI(taxonomic database)
  • Global Names Index (GNI(taxonomic database)
  • Index Fungorum (IF(taxonomic database)
  • Paleobiology Database (PaleoDB(taxonomic database)
  • Meetnet Vlaamse Banken (tidal information)
  • ICES Ecoregions (administrative boundaries)
  • FAO Fishing areas (administrative boundaries)
  • IHO Sea areas (administrative boundaries)
  • Exclusive Economic Zones (administrative boundaries)
  • ESRI World countries (administrative boundaries)
  • Limited Atlas of the Belgian Part of the North Sea (bathymetry)
  • General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO(bathymetry)
  • Ocean Climate Layers for Marine Spatial Ecology (MARSPEC(bathymetry)
  • Longhurst Biogeographical provinces (biogeographical classification)
  • WWF Marine Realms of the World (biogeographical classification)
  • WWF Marine Ecoregions of the World (biogeographical classification)
  • WWF Marine Provinces of the World (biogeographical classification)
  • NOAA Large Marine Ecosystems of the World (biogeographical classification)
  • Bio-ORACLE (environmental data)
  • MUMM shoals of the Belgian Continental Shelf (features)
  • Flemish Ecological Network (protected areas)
  • Marine Biological Valuation (total)
  • Terrestrial Biological Valuation (v22)
Web services: 
  • Data validation and QC services
  • MarineRegions gazetteer services
  • Other taxon services
  • Taxon match services
  • Taxon match services WoRMS Regional Species Databases
  • Taxon match services WoRMS Thematic Species Databases
  • Taxon observations
  • Tidal services
  • Geographical services - Administrative boundaries
  • Geographical services - Bathymetry
  • Geographical services - Biogeographical classification
  • Geographical services - Environmental data
  • Geographical services - Features
  • Geographical services - Protected areas
  • Geographical services - Total biological valuation
Technology or platform: 

The data services are written in the PHP scripting language and are based on a MS SQL server. The entire e-Lab application runs on an Apache server which is installed on a Windows pc.