The web services API provides a way of embedding data and maps into websites and online applications, giving rapid access to the most up-to-date biodiversity data on the NBN Atlas.

Web services are used by a wide range of NBN partners for many purposes; to inform environmental decision making, to support the volunteer recording community or simply to help people find out about the wildlife that has been recorded ‘in their backyard’.  A significant proportion of the data used from the NBN Atlas comes through implementations of web services.

The web services are accessed via https requests through a programming language (such as Python). The API documentation lists the available URLs together with example calls that illustrate their use.

Other web services


Mapping functionality is exposed through the above API, however, in the past an ‘EasyMap’ service has been run that proves a simplified interface that enabled “you to get a live NBN map on your website in one line of HTML”. We have now developed an EasyMap function for the NBN Atlas.  It is a ‘shim’ that duplicates much of the old EasyMap functionality using the capabilities of the new infrastructure.

In the future, website developers are advised that dynamic maps are likely to be appreciated by their website users. Interactive maps (both tile based and vector) are simple to add to a website and are both fully supported by the API.

NBN Atlas Tool for QGIS

The NBN Atlas Tool provides an interface from within QGIS to the NBN Atlas via the official NBN Atlas web services. It allows you to incorporate grid maps from the NBN Atlas as QGIS layers so you can visualise them alongside all your other data. It also provides a handy interface for downloading raw records from the NBN.

Find out more about the NBN Atlas Tool for QGIS