[tdwg-content] Easting and northing

Roderic Page Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk
Mon Feb 9 12:00:01 CET 2015

Hi Dag,

I should have guessed that as soon as I’d typed “isn’t a terribly common way” that this would more likely expose my ignorance than reflect reality!



Roderic Page
Professor of Taxonomy
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences
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University of Glasgow
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On 7 Feb 2015, at 17:39, Dag Endresen <dag.endresen at gmail.com<mailto:dag.endresen at gmail.com>> wrote:

Hi Rod,

At least in Norway, it is very common for the GBIF node to receive
(only) Easting and Northing of UTM zones 32V to 36W. For many datasets
we will on routine automatically make the conversion to decimal
degrees (and WGS84) at the node before these datasets are published to
the GBIF portal. When people download occurrences from the Norwegian
"GBIF portal", Artskart, my impression is that the UTM 32V (and the
33V) Easting and Northing coordinate format is actually more popular
than the decimal degree format - this is because the geographic data
layers for Norway more often are made available in the UTM format
(most often 32V or 33V) [1]. And yes, this continued present day
official use of such a wide variety of coordinate formats frustrates
me too... The historic use reported with the verbatim terms, is of
course difficult to do anything with...

I assume that Easting and Northing coordinates are both valid and very
common values (and not only in Norway) for the Darwin Core verbatim
coordinate terms (dwc:verbatimLatitude and dwc:verbatimLongitude or
dwc:verbatimCoordinates), but of course only at all useful when
accompanied by the respective dwc:verbatimCoordinateSystem and
dwc:verbatimSRS also reported. (And that the dwc:decimalLatitude and
dwc:decimalLongitude correctly reported in WGS84 should preferably
also always be there). I believe that Darwin Core is already fine with
respect to terms to report geographic coordinates. If at all any
additions are useful, I believe that identifying and recommending
terms from more specialized geographic vocabularies and ontologies
might be much more useful than adding any new dwc:Location terms to
Darwin Core. In fact, most of the dwc:Location terms might perhaps
preferably be replaced by terms from the geography community... such
as perhaps [2] and [3] (as a start).

[1] https://dagendresen.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/convert-coordinate-srs/
[2] http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/wgs84_pos#
[3] http://www.geonames.org/ontology/documentation.html


On 7 February 2015 at 13:02, Roderic Page <Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk<mailto:Roderic.Page at glasgow.ac.uk>> wrote:
Pardon my ignorance, but has there ever been a discussion of easting and
northing values in regards to Darwin Core? AFAIK the current standard
doesn’t mention them. The reason I’m asking is that I’ve just come across
some VerbatimLatitude and VerbatimLongitude values in a dataset that is
aggregated by VertNet (and hence GBIF) where (after some head scratching) I
realised that the verbatim values were actually Easting and Northing (which
I didn’t know existed until yesterday). Details are here:

I’m guessing this isn’t a terribly common way to record location
information, but it looks like in this case the lack of support for this
type of data has resulted in somebody trying to shoehorn them into
VerbatimLatitude and VerbatimLongitude, resulting in values which are
uninterpretable to aggregators further up the chain.



Dag Endresen, Ph.D.
GBIF Norway, UiO Natural History Museum
Private email: dag.endresen at gmail.com<mailto:dag.endresen at gmail.com>
Work email: dag.endresen at nhm.uio.no<mailto:dag.endresen at nhm.uio.no>

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