BDRS – Biological Data Recording System

The Biological Data Recording System* is a software stack that enables data collection using a flexible schema, either through web interfaces or through associated products to provide mobile solutions.  It is a robust, open source system that is at the core of a range of our projects, especially our citizen science projects, such as Coastal Walkabout.


What can it do?

The BDRS’ main benefit is the flexible schema under the hood.  This lets you create a range of projects, and then to create your own set of fields for each of them.  This provides a great deal of flexibility – which then drives the web based forms that the system builds, and even can flow to mobile platforms through associated products like SEED Mobile.

Where is it used?

The BDRS powers a range of web sites that we have developed, or have been developed by other groups such as the Atlas of Living Australia (who originally commissioned the development of the BDRS).  Some of the organisations using it include:

  • Australian Biological Resources Study – a new implementation of the BDRS is being trialled for the Bushblitz project,
  • Birdlife Australia –  to help power the Birds in Backyards web site,
  • BMT Oceanica’s Marinebase 2 project, managing a range of non-biological data
  • Coastal Walkabout – a project with Murdoch University, read more about our this project on our blog here and here,
  • Department of Parks and Wildlife’s  Naturemap extension that allows for threatened species to be recorded,
  • Department of Health, Western Australia – where we are working with the Department’s Environmental Health unit to help manage a range of environmental health issues,
  • Ecological Australia’s own BDRS instance to manage their biodiversity data,
  • Gaia Resources – where we use this software ourself to power a range of surveys, including over 15,000 bird records collected by Piers – not to mention the mole cricket survey,
  • Murdoch University – not only for Coastal Walkabout, but also through the Marri Canker project, and associated apps – read about this on our blog,
  • Museum Victoria’s Biodiversity Snapshots project – a project focused on schoolchildren recording information about their local environment
  • South Coast NRM – for the Dieback Information Delivery Management System,
  • Terrestrial Ecosystems, who are now managing their biological sightings through the BDRS.

Some of these projects are written up on our Projects page – you can get a listing of BDRS specific projects through this link.

How to get started?

As an open source product, you can download the source code from the BDRS from the Google Code Repository, and have a go at installing it via the directions found here (this is aimed at developers, so be warned, it is quite technical).

Alternatively, contact our team and we’ll discuss how we can help you get started.

* We’ll readily admit the BDRS is a horrible name and we should have come up with something better when we started developing it.