Biodiversity Information Science and Standards : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Everything happens somewhere, multiple times
expand article info Javier de la Torre
‡ CARTO, New York, United States of America
Open Access


Everything happens somewhere, and many of these things get recorded, with many different standards. The geospatial community, through the Open Geospatial Consortium, has been one of the most prolific communities, after TDWG, in creating standards. These standards have helped in many ways to open the industry and foster innovation, but in some cases they have produced the opposite effect. Standards that are created external to the development process of the applications that use them are often difficult to implement, and ultimately superseded by the de facto standards that are driven by a specific community.

Thus too much standardization architecture has somehow produced a disconnect between the creation of standards and their actual usage. If standards are too hard to follow they can stop innovation on the implementation side, and alternative standards are created. Over the past few years, a set of innovative companies and open source projects have been revolutionizing the way maps and location data are managed, used and shared. They have done this while circumventing a lot of standards—in fact creating a set of de facto standards that now are being widely adopted.

In this talk, I will go over some of the lessons learnt while founding Vizzuality and CARTO, connections to TDWG, and the broader goal of connecting Biodiversity Informatics with the current state of the wider Location Intelligence world.


GIS, standards, Location Intelligence, Visualization, OGC, Mapping

Presenting author

Javier de la Torre

Hosting institution