Friday, 18 May 2012

Voucher pages in JSON format

I made a quick addition to our public NSG database. Voucher pages will output the specimen's data in JSON format for easy and automated harvesting of our data.

JSON is becoming a commonly used format for transfer of data over the Internet because it can be easily integrated into Javascript. Nowadays, there are even database systems that keep all data in JSON format (e.g. couchdb, mongodb, etc).

This is how it works in our database:

  "institutionCode": "NSG",
  "catalogNumber": "NW85-8",
  "voucher_code": "NW85-8",
  "recordNumber": "NW85-8",
  "family": "Hesperiidae",
  "subfamily": "",
  "tribe": "",
  "subtribe": "",
  "genus": "Achlyodes",
  "specificEpithet": "busiris",
  "infraspecificEpithet": "",
  "country": "PERU",
  "locality": "Km 28, road to Yurimaguas",
  "decimalLatitude": "-6.412590",
  "decimalLongitude": "-76.315900",
  "verbatimElevation": "750m",
  "collector": "St\u00e9phanie Gallusser",
  "eventDate": "2001-11-02",
  "voucherLocality": "NSG coll.",
  "sex": "",
  "voucherImage": "http:\/\/\/photos\/37256239@N03\/3429238255\/",
  "associatedSequences": "GQ864726;GQ864820;GQ864414;GQ865378;GQ865050;GQ864915;GQ864593;GQ864507;GQ865158;GQ865279"
  • If you use the function getJSON of jQuery to call this web service, you will need to use the field jsoncallback=? or callback=? and, to avoid confusions, the field format=jsonp.
  • Example: Calls the NSG database for data about specimen code NW85-8 using jQuery's function getJSON.
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang='en' xml:lang='en' xmlns=''>
<script src=""></script>


$(document).ready(function() {
                code: "NW85-8",
                format: "jsonp"
        function(data) {
            var output = "";
            output += "voucher code: " + data.voucher_code + "<br />";
            output += "genus: " + data.genus + "<br />";
            output += "species: " + data.specificEpithet + "<br />";




And the output will be: