Jump to content Jump to navigation

Software development and User Interface Design

Our software development department works on large and small applications, sites, and other projects for use inside and outside Naturalis.

Developers, system architects, and interface designers work at the department and this makes a multidisciplinary approach to the projects possible. The core task is the development of the digital infrastructure with the associated tools for making Naturalis data accessible to as broad a public as possible in both the Netherlands and internationally.

The focus areas for the software development department are the ‘basic digital infrastructure’ and the development of apps.

Basic digital infrastructure

The basic digital infrastructure is a facility for supplying data and services to national and international initiatives. The Netherlands Biodiversity API (NBA) forms the basis of this infrastructure. The NBA collates and indexes data from various Naturalis systems, such as BioXL, the Collection Registration System, Brahms, and the Dutch Species Register. It then makes these uniformly available according to prevailing international standards so that users are not required to have knowledge of the underlying systems.

Via the NBA, data are made digitally available for integration into internal systems and for use by third parties. An example is making data available to GBIF. Further the department is developing the BioPortal, an online service that makes use of the possibilities of NBA. We are also working hard on the further development of the NBA so that the infrastructure can shortly be harmonized with the Linked Open Data standards.


The department is currently developing a line of natural history information apps that on the basis of data collected in Linnaeus NG will make species determination and other tools available on mobile platforms. In the future, these apps will be expanded with location-sensitive functions and the possibility to report observations. Furthermore, a number of project-specific apps are being produced. Examples are the the Dierenzoeker (Animal finder), developed in collaboration with the Dutch children's TV program Het Klokhuis, which children can use in and around the home to identify animals, and the DinoApp. In the future, apps will also be realized for use in collection management and other sectors of Naturalis.


Would you like to know more? Then please contact Jeroen Snijders, jeroen.snijders@naturalis.nl for further information.