Diveboard - Scuba diving citizen science observations

Dimitri Brosens, Datafable

Dataset credit



Primary contact Dimitri Brosens Datafable
Secondary contact EurOBIS Data Management Team Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
Secondary contact Alexander Casassovici Diveboard
Secondary contact Diveboard N/A


Diveboard - Scuba diving citizen science observations. Online at http://www.diveboard.com and http://ipt.diveboard.com/resource.do?r=diveboard-occurrences. https://dx.doi.org/10.15468/tnjrgy
Brosens, D. 2020. Diveboard - Scuba diving citizen science observations. Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP (http://seamap.env.duke.edu/dataset/103152427) on yyyy-mm-dd and originated from OBIS (https://obis.org/dataset/4d2a31a3-bb76-4ffe-a2f9-817e975f6ba9)


Diveboard is an online scuba diving citizen science platform, where divers can digitize or log their dives, participate in citizen science surveys and projects, and interact with others. More then 10,000 divers have already registered with Diveboard and the community is still growing. This dataset contains all observations made by Diveboarders worldwide (mainly fishes) and are linked to the Encyclopedia of Life. The Diveboard community has dedicated the data to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver, so these can be used as widely as possible. If you have a specific survey need or question, get in touch: Diveboarders are everywhere and willing to help!
Purpose - Diveboarders share their data with the desire to help the scientific community in research towards protecting the biodiversity of our oceans, seas, and freshwater bodies. So far, the data are not generated with any overarching purpose, other than completing ones personal digital log of dives.

Additional information - The data is collected with the help of divers all around the world. If you have questions regarding surveying specific dive sites, you can contact us at support@diveboard.com and we will see what we can do. The dataset was standardized, documented and published with the help of Datafable, a team of open data volunteers. The process is documented here: https://github.com/Datafable/diveboard-gbif.

Taxonomic coverage - The dataset covers animals (and very few plants) observed during scuba dives performed by members of the Diveboard community. Close to 80% of the observations are fishes (Actinopterygii and Elasmobranchii). Diveboarders can log their dives online, including the species they observed, using the Encyclopedia of Life (http://eol.org) as a checklist. Most of the observations are identified to species level, though some caution regarding the identifications is appropriate. In case of doubt, the observer/identifier can be contacted via the references field, which references his/her Diveboard profile.

Study extent - The dataset covers recorded observations made during scuba dives performed by members of the Diveboard community. As such there is no specific geographic or temporal study extent, although most dives logged on Diveboard were conducted in well known divespots, such as reefs and wrecks. In a later phase, specific surveys might also be logged on Diveboard.

Sampling description - Observations are not recorded with a specific goal in mind and only reflect what the diver has noticed during the dive. Divers rarely conduct a full inventory of a dive spot, so the observed species only represent part of the occurring species at the time of the dive. There is a sampling bias for known, interesting, noticeable and/or rare species.

Quality control - The Diveboard application restricts divers to only record species found in the Encyclopedia of Life (http://eol.org). As such, all observations are linked to an EOL page in the field taxonID. It is important to note that the data are not validated by specialists.

Method - Event and location conditions (date, time, depth, etc.) are often logged automatically by the dive computer. This data can be imported or manually added by the diver in the Diveboard application, while observed species are added manually. These actions can be done just after surfacing, as the Diveboard application is available online and as a mobile app, which allows divers to record their dive even if no internet connection is available.



Supplemental information

This dataset was downloaded from OBIS (https://obis.org/). The records for only marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles and rays and sharks were extracted. Records with no longitude/latitude or no date (eventDate) were excluded.
OBIS dataset page:
Data Provider's dataset page:


Diveboard - Scuba diving citizen science observations. Online at http://www.diveboard.com and http://ipt.diveboard.com/resource.do?r=diveboard-occurrences. https://dx.doi.org/10.15468/tnjrgy



This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidInternal ID
idRecord ID
dataset_idDataset ID
scientificnameScientific name
vernacularnameVernacular name
aphiaidAphia ID
taxonranktaxononic rank
individualcountGroup size / individual count
eventdateEvent date (precision varies)
eventtimeEvent time
decimallatitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
decimallongitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
coordinateprecisionCoordinate precision
catalognumberCatalog number
collectioncodeCollection code
occurrencestatusOccurrence status
basisofrecordBasis of record (HumanObservation / MachineObservation)
modifiedDate/time the record was modified
node_idNode ID
occurrenceidOccurrence ID
occurrenceremarksOccurrence remarks
eventidEvent ID
institutioncodeInstitution code
lifestageLife stage
sexGender of the animal if known
speciesSpecies by provider
datasetidDataset ID by provider
localityLocation of ocean
waterbodyDetails of ocean
droppedFlag indicating the record was dropped (always false)
absenceFlag indicating the record represents the absence of the species (always false)
marineFlag indicating the record is for marine life (always true)
Marine mammals169
Sea turtles897
Rays and sharks682
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1985-08-17
Date, End2014-11-19
Temporal prec.111000
Latitude-46.87 - 60.69
Longitude-159.78 - 178.16
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. throughiOBIS
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Also available in None
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics