Ricardo's Blog

by Ricardo Morin

Provita Bioportal: A gateway to Venezuelan biodiversity data

I am pleased to share the outcome of my recent collaboration with Provita: a portal for biodiversity data in Venezuela.

The portal was created to make it easier to access data records of Venezuelan species on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) platform, as well as data generated by Provita’s own projects. The goal is to make this information more widely available to researchers, students, and the general public.

The Web application is available in Spanish and English, providing multilingual access to our users.

Data categories

The site offers two major categories of data: GBIF Data and Provita Data.



The portal provides simplified access to observation records of species in the wild recorded in Venezuela that are kept on the GBIF platform. These records, known as occurrences, include information about the species, location, time of observation, and other relevant details. They are collected by researchers, citizen scientists, and other individuals.

Records can be seen on a map, by clicking on the “Map” tab.


In addition to observation records, the site also offers streamlined access to datasets on the GBIF platform that reference Venezuela in their content. These datasets are collections of biodiversity data that have been shared on the GBIF platform and come in four types: resources metadata, checklist data, occurrence data, and sampling-event data.

Users can filter the data by relevant attributes and species taxonomy to find the information they need.

Provita Data

Terrestrial ecosystems

The site offers information on terrestrial ecosystems, sourced from the Terrestrial Ecosystems Red Book published by Provita in 2010. The main tab displays a list of ecosystems with their red book status (e.g., endangered), area metrics, and hyperlinks to the red book. In addition, on a separate tab, ecosystems are broken down by state with relative metrics (e.g., % State).

Threatened fauna species

The portal also provides information on threatened fauna species identified in the Red Book of Venezuelan Fauna, published by Provita in 2015. The main tab displays a list of threatened fauna species, their scientific & common names and their red book status, with the ability to filter by any of these attributes. On a separate tab, it displays a sunburst visualization to facilitate the exploration of the species list.

Portal building blocks

We built the Open Source Web application taking advantage of the following building blocks:

  • Vue.js - A reactive component-based Javascript framework for building Web user interfaces

  • Gridsome - A Jamstack framework for building Vue.js-powered sites and apps

  • Bulma/Buefy - A CSS framework and collection of lightweight UI components for Vue.js

  • Sunburst-chart - An interactive sunburst chart for representing hierarchical data

  • html2canvas - A library that enables screen captures

  • GBIF API - A RESTful JSON based API that provides access to GBIF data

A note about Gridsome

I started using Gridsome at the end of 2019 and was impressed by its simplicity and power. I have developed and deployed four sites using the framework, and the experience has been phenomenal.

However, the project seems to have stalled, with the latest official release (v0.7.23) dating back to November 2020. While I have seen some recent activity from the main contributor on GitHub, there has been no official update to the framework.

Meanwhile, the Vue.js community has continued to evolve, with version 3 becoming more widely adopted. Gridsome is currently based on Vue 2, which means it is not able to take advantage of the latest improvements and features in the Vue ecosystem.

As a result, I am considering moving to a different framework, Nuxt.js, which recently released a stable Vue 3 version that supports full static site generation. I believe that Nuxt.js can provide me with the same capabilities as Gridsome, as well as additional features and flexibility.

Au revoir Gridsome. We had a good run!

That’s it for now.

We hope that the Provita Bioportal will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the biodiversity of Venezuela.

Thank you!

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