4.4 How to format Event tables

If your dataset uses an Event Core structure, data fields included in your dataset should include the following required terms:

  • eventDate
  • eventID
  • parentEventID (if applicable)
  • decimalLatitude
  • decimalLongitude

Other terms you should consider adding are grouped by their associated Darwin Core class in the table below. See the term checklist for a more complete list of DwC terms for the Event table.

  • Class Event | DwC:parentEventID
  • Class Event | DwC:eventRemarks
  • Class Event | DwC:eventType
  • Class Event | DwC:year
  • Class Event | DwC:month
  • Class Event | DwC:day
  • Class Event | DwC:type
  • Class Location | DwC:country
  • Class Location | DwC:island
  • Class Location | DwC:coordinateUncertaintyInMeters
  • Class Location | DwC:countryCode
  • Class Location | DwC:footprintWKT
  • Class Location | DwC:geodeticDatum
  • Class Location | DwC:islandGroup
  • Class Location | DwC:locality
  • Class Location | DwC:locationAccordingTo
  • Class Location | DwC:locationID
  • Class Location | DwC:locationRemarks
  • Class Location | DwC:maximumDepthInMeters
  • Class Location | DwC:minimumDepthInMeters
  • Class Location | DwC:stateProvince
  • Class Location | DwC:verbatimCoordinates
  • Class Location | DwC:verbatimDepth
  • Class Location | DwC:waterBody

Terms related to measurements, either biotic (e.g., sex, lifestage) or abiotic will be included in extendedMeasurementOrFact table not the Event Core or Occurrence extension table. Stepwise Guidance to Format Event Table (with spreadsheets)

Before proceeding with the below, make sure each record already has an eventID.

  1. Add and fill the parentEventID and eventRemarks fields as applicable
  2. Identify the hierarchical event structure in your data, if present, and create new records for parent Events, filling in any relevant fields
  3. Identify all columns in your data that will match with Darwin Core Event fields
    • Include any relevant abiotic measurements (ENV-DATA) related to sampling events (e.g. sampling protocols). We will add these to the eMoF table later
  4. Copy these columns to a new sheet and name it Event
  5. Delete duplicate data so only unique events are left
  6. Ensure dates and time are formatted according to ISO 8601 standards in the eventDate field
  7. Add any other relevant fields as indicated above
  8. Map fields to Darwin Core

Watch the video tutorial of this process below.

After completing the formatting of your Event Core table, you can next format your extendedMeasurementOrFact table. To format the Occurrence extension table, see the Occurrence table section of this manual. Note that there is a difference between how OBIS and GBIF populate fields in parent and child events. In OBIS, child events inherit parent event information. However, if parentEvent contains latitude/longitude coordinates, and child events do not, occurrences associated with the child events will have blank latitude/longitude coordinates because these fields are not currently inherited by parent events by GBIF. If you intend for your dataset to be published to GBIF you may consider populating both parent and child events. A discussion of this and the implications can be found here.

4.4.1 Populating parent and child events

In OBIS, child events will inherit information from the parent event when the field is left empty. For example, if you provided the information “1x1m quadrat intertidal sampling” to samplingProtocol for a parent event but nothing was provided to the child event, as below:

eventID parentEventID samplingProtocol
site123 1x1m quadrat intertidal sampling
site123_quad1 site123

the child event will automatically be populated with the same text “1x1m quadrat intertidal sampling” once published to OBIS.

eventID parentEventID samplingProtocol
site123 1x1m quadrat intertidal sampling
site123_quad1 site123 1x1m quadrat intertidal sampling

This can be convenient so that you do not have to fill in the same information repeatedly. However, it is important to know that GBIF does not currently implement inheritance! Thus we recommend populating important information (e.g. decimalLongitude, decimalLatitude) to the child event to ensure all data will be useful for both OBIS and GBIF.