Informatics Developments Unit

1. Biodiversity Informatics Development

One of the main activities carried out by the Informatics Developments Unit is to support the institution’s core process to efficiently manage biodiversity information. This is accomplished through the development of the informatics component of the systems that store, manage and disseminate all the institution’s biodiversity information.

In this area, the main development is Atta, the second version of the biodiversity information system that supports INBio’s core process since 1989. It was inaugurated on August 2000 and it currently holds a relational database with more than three million specimen records of our collection, each one of these specimens holds a unique barcode associated to the information on where (geo-reference with precise coordinates), when, how, who collected it and by the end of the identification cycle, what species it is. Atta includes modules to generate, query, edit and analyze taxonomic, geographic and ecological information as well as potential uses of Costa Rica biodiversity. Currently, it includes collections of plants, insects, mollusks, arachnids, fungi and nematodes.

Another area in which the Informatics Developments Unit participates is the development, maintenance and use of institutional Geographic Information Systems in order to support other Units (like SIG) and external partners that share our same objectives of conserving biodiversity.

Another important activity carried out by this Unit’s personnel is to help with the development of computational systems that satisfy those needs of information management from the Bioprospecting Unit. These systems support the activities (gathering, extraction, dry, chemistry and microbiology) of the different projects developed in the Unit to promote a sustainable use of our natural resources.

Some areas of interest in biodiversity informatics include: species modeling, expert systems, knowledge representation, bioinformatics, etc.

2. Institutional databases administration

In order to manage all information of the biodiversity informatics and administrative processes in an efficient way, the Informatics Developments Unit develops and maintains all servers and databases that facilitate accessing, managing and maintaining the necessary back up copies of all institutional information. This task allows the institution to count with available up-to-date information at any time, not only inside the institution itself, but also to our target audiences through the Web site.

Some of the areas of interest in the topic of databases are: data mining, data warehouse, distributed databases, grid architecture, and so on.

3. Multimedia and Internet developments

Multimedia and Internet technologies are ideal to disseminate in a more efficient, economic and interesting way the information generated by INBio through its processes. Since 1994, more than 10,000 pages of information are kept in our web site. They describe the institution, give access to our databases and publish documents either for specialized audiences or for those with some general interest in biodiversity.

Additionally, as part of the bioliteracy process, INBio has been a world pioneer in the use multimedia to educate children and the general public about themes of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Since 1998, under the sponsorship of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI), INBio has produced three compact discs (CD-ROMs) for children that show information about the species, characteristics and interrelationships of “The Tropical Rain Forest”, “The Tropical Cloud Forest” and “The Tropical Dry Forest”. These systems, with others that also show innovative use of information and communication technologies are available to the visitor of INBioparque. The Tropical Rain Forest and the Tropical Cloud Forest are both bilingual (Spanish and English) and available for sale.

Some of the areas of interest for projects and research in Multimedia and Internet are: educational hyperdocuments, scientific visualization, web services, Grid architecture, etc.

4. Administrative Systems Development

The Informatics Developments Unit has the responsibility to support the development, acquisition, implementation and maintainance of systems to support the administrative activities of the Institution in general. During 2003, the upgrading of the administrative and financial-accounting systems was started. This has helped making the Services Platform processes more efficient. These modules have been in production since the first quarter of 2004 and the updating, development and implementation of the INBioparque and INBio Editorial has begun.

Some of the areas of interest in this topic are: POS, client-satisfaction, Scoreboard, e-commerce, etc.


To contact the Training unit:

María Auxiliadora Mora
Phone: (506) 2507-8175

Photo: archivo,INbio

Photo: Bruno Laisel, INBio
Home | INBio | Biodiversity | Services | INBioparque | INBio Editorial | Site map | Web Survey