Artportalen is a citizen observatory to report biodiversity observations in Sweden. Observations consist of four obligatory fields; taxa, location, date and reporter. Additional data can be uploaded, for example, activity (breeding, migrating etc), observation method, determination method as well as habitat.
The platform also offers the ability to create projects, define own parameters, field diaries, mapping and presentation, communication between users, as well as specific functions for particular users, for example the tailored reports for Birdlife Sverige or the Flora Guardians.
Observations can be reported from desktop PCs or via mobile devices. The checklist feature enables the user to generate a checklist of species likely to occur at a particular location on a particular date. By confirming that all species that were seen and identified are reported the observer submits a complete list, the species not observed then becoming the important zero-observations. Reporting modules, for example the checklist feature or the Invasive and Alien Species (IAS) reporting module have been built using Artportalen’s API. This API has also enabled third-party developers to build apps to read information, report observations or both.
An alarm service is under development enabling users to receive a notification when relevant observations are reported.
Artportalen has received > 78,000,000 (cor June 2020) observations of birds, plants, insects, fungi and many other taxa along with the 1,300,000 associated media files. Nearly 4,000,000 of the observations that Artportalen has received have been validated by expert validators or committees.
A feature of Artportalen is the manner in which the data has become a fundamental to environmental management in Sweden. Authorities and governmental agencies, via their own web interfaces, use the data in the platform as a primary biodiversity information source. As such, the platform plays a pivotal role in governance and decision making and leads to more transparency in the decision-making process since the data used is open to everyone.