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ToL Web Services

Tree of Life Media Services

There are several media services available based on the data recipient and the intended use of the data:

The Tree of Life media service provides individual media files along with media data stored in the ToL database. If the media file license does not allow redistribution for the intended use, a thumbnail (for images and movies) or a generic icon (for sounds and documents) is provided instead of the original media file. There are also options to limit the download to a particular media type (images, movies, sounds, or documents) or to download all media files attached to a given leaf or branch of the tree of life; e. g., you can download all images attached to nodes in the Modern Birds branch (see Parameters). The ToL Response Format is described below. Before using ToL web services, please see the Disclaimers and Terms of Use.

Non-commercial Use WITH Modification/Adaptation of Content

The media service url is

http://tolweb.org/...&media_id=yyy

where yyy is the unique identifier for a media file in the ToL database (for other parameters, see Parameters).

Media files provided through this service are subject to one of the following licenses:

The specific license for each media file is specified in the response document.

Non-commercial Use WITHOUT Modification/Adaptation of Content

The media service url is

http://tolweb.org/...&media_id=yyy

where yyy is the unique identifier for a media file in the ToL database (for other parameters, see Parameters).

Media files provided through this service are subject to one of the following licenses:

The specific license for each media file is specified in the response document.

Commercial Use WITH Modification/Adaptation of Content

The media service url is

http://tolweb.org/...&media_id=yyy

where yyy is the unique identifier for a media file in the ToL database (for other parameters, see Parameters).

Media files provided through this service are subject to one of the following licenses:

The specific license for each media file is specified in the response document.

Commercial Use WITHOUT Modification/Adaptation of Content

The media service url is

http://tolweb.org/...&media_id=yyy

where yyy is the unique identifier for a media file in the ToL database (for other parameters, see Parameters).

Media files provided through this service are subject to one of the following licenses:

The specific license for each media file is specified in the response document.

Tree of Life Partner Use

The media service url is

http://tolweb.org/...&media_id=yyy

where yyy is the unique identifier for a media file in the ToL database (for other parameters, see Parameters).

Media files provided through this service are subject to one of the following licenses:

The specific license for each media file is specified in the response document.

Thumbnail Links Only

The media service url is

http://tolweb.org/...&media_id=yyy

where yyy is the unique identifier for a media file in the ToL database (for other parameters, see Parameters).

This service does not provide original media files; only thumbnails for images and movies and generic icons for sounds and documents are delivered along with the media data. Thumbnails and icons can be linked back to the relevant ToL media data page. This service is open to both commercial and non-commercial use.

Parameters

The media_id parameter specifies the unique identifier for a media file in the ToL database. The id for individual media files is listed in the media data, which can be accessed by clicking on an image or thumbnail. If you want to download all available media files for a given branch or leaf of the tree of life, you need to replace the media_id parameter with the node_id parameter, which is the unique identifier for a group in the ToL database. In order to download all available media files for the entire tree use node_id=1, which is the node id for Life on Earth. The ids of other named nodes may be obtained via the ToL Group ID Service. If a named node has a ToL branch or leaf page attached to it, you can also get its id from the page url. In ToL page urls, the node id will usually be appended at then end, separated by a slash from the group name. For example, the url for the Bembidion page is:

http://tolweb.org/Bembidion/194

and the id for the Bembidion node is 194.

There are two other parameters which you can use to limit the data in your download:

ToL Response Format

The response document is an XML document with the root element <success>, which contains three elements: <media>, <contributors>, and <sources>. The <media> element contains zero or more <media-file> elements providing media files and data, the <contributors> element contains zero or more <contributor> elements providing information about Tree of Life contributors (copyright-owners), and the <sources> element contains zero or more <source> elements providing information about the source collections of media files. Below is a summary of the elements and attributes that are included in the XML file.

Element Description/Attributes
media Element nesting information about media files
media-file Element nesting information about a given media file
id The unique identifier for the media file in the Tree of Life Web Project
url The url where the media file can be downloaded. This will only be provided if the intended use is compatible with the media file license.
thumbnail The url where the thumbnail for an image or movie can be downloaded.
link-image The url where a generic icon can be downloaded, which can be used to link to a sound or document.
type The media type:
  • Image
  • Sound
  • Movie
  • Document
subtype Images:
  • Photograph
  • Drawing/Painting
  • Diagram
Sounds:
  • Natural Sound
  • Speech
  • Music
  • Artificial Sound Effects
  • Mixed
Movies:
  • Documentary
  • Staged
  • Animation
  • Mixed
content-type
  • Images and Movies: Specimens, Body Parts, Ultrastructure, Habitat, Apparatus, People
  • Sounds: Organism Sound, Environmental Sound, Narrative
date-created The date when the media file was added to the Tree of Life collection.
date-changed The date when the media file or its data where last changed.
description Description of the content of the media file.
alt-text Brief description of the content of the media file that can be used as alternative text when the media file cannot be displayed.
comments Comments about the content of the media file.
groups Information about the groups of organisms to which the media file is relevant.
node The unique identifiers for the nodes in the Tree of Life Web Project to which the media file is attached, comma separated. Links to the ToL tree structure service.
scientific-name The scientific names of the organisms.
specimen-info Element nesting information about the specimen(s) featured in the media file.
location The location where the media file was created or where the specimen(s) featured in the media file were found.
date The date when the media file was created or when the specimen(s) featured in the media file were found.
condition The condition of the specimen(s):
  • Alive
  • Dead
  • Model
  • Fossil
  • other: any text
period Geological time period, if fossils
sex Sex of the specimen(s):
  • male
  • female
  • other: any text
life-stage Life-cycle stage of the specimen(s).
body-part The body part(s) featured in the media file.
size Any information relevant to the size of the specimen(s).
view View angle of visual media
collector The name of the person who collected the specimen(s)
collection The collection in which the specimen(s) are housed.
collection-acronym The acronym for the collection in which the specimen(s) are housed.
type Options for type specimens:
  • Holotype
  • Paratype
  • Syntype
  • Lectotype
  • Neotype
  • Isosyntype
  • Paralectotype
  • Paraneotype
  • Isotype
  • Epitype
  • Iconotype
  • Hapantotype
  • Other: any text
voucher-number The voucher number for voucher specimens.
voucher-number-collection The colletion for which the voucher number is relevant.
behavior A description of the behavior documented in the media file.
languages Information about the languages featured in the media file.
techinfo Technical information about the media file.
filesize The byte size of the media file.
width The width of the media file in pixels (images and movies only)
height The height of the media file in pixels (images and movies only)
running-time Movies and sounds only.
copyright Information about the copyright owner and the distribution license.
copyright-date The copyright date for the media file.
license License under which the media file is distributed:
  • public domain
  • cc-by 1.0
  • cc-by-nc 1.0
  • cc-by-sa 1.0
  • cc-by-nd 1.0
  • cc-by-nc-sa 1.0
  • cc-by-nc-nd 1.0
  • cc-by 2.0
  • cc-by-nc 2.0
  • cc-by-sa 2.0
  • cc-by-nd 2.0
  • cc-by-nc-sa 2.0
  • cc-by-nc-nd 2.0
  • cc-by 2.5
  • cc-by-nc 2.5
  • cc-by-sa 2.5
  • cc-by-nd 2.5
  • cc-by-nc-sa 2.5
  • cc-by-nc-nd 2.5
  • cc-by 3.0
  • cc-by-nc 3.0
  • cc-by-sa 3.0
  • cc-by-nd 3.0
  • cc-by-nc-sa 3.0
  • cc-by-nc-nd 3.0
  • all rights reserved
id The unique identifiers for a contributor in the Tree of Life Web Project. If the copyright owner is a registered ToL contributor, data are provided in the contributors element. Data for non-registered copyright owners are provided as attributes in the copyright element (copyright-owner, url, email).
copyright-owner The name of the copyright owner.
url The url of the copyright owner's home page
email The email address of the copyright owner
credits Information about people/projects/organizations and other sources that have contributed to the creation of the media file.
creator The person who created the media file.
identifier Name of the person who identified the organism(s).
acknowledgements Acknowledgements of people or institutions that have facilitated the creation or distribution of the media file.
reference Relevant print references.
media-source Information about the source of the image.
source-collection The unique Tree of Life identifier for the source collection. Data are provided in the sources element.
source-title The title of the media file.
source-url The url of the media data page of the source file. Links back to this page should be provided when media are displayed on other web sites.
more-source Additional information about the source file.
contributors Element nesting information about Tree of Life contributors
contributor Information about individual contributors
id The unique identifier for the contributor in the Tree of Life Web Project
last-name The contributor's last name
first-name The contributor's first name
email The contributor's email address.
homepage The url of the contributor's home page.
tol-profile The url of the contributor's Tree of Life profile page.
portrait The url where a portrait of the contributor can be downloaded.
institution The contributors institution.
address The contributors mailing address
sources Element nesting information about the source collections of media files.
source Information about individual source collections
id The unique identifier for the source collection in the Tree of Life Web Project.
name The name of the source collection.
url The url of the source collection home page.
logo The url where the logo of the collection can be downloaded.

Creative Commons Icon Most of the materials distributed through this web service are in the public domain or licensed under a Creative Commons License. .... When media are displayed on other web sites, links back to the original media data page should be provided. The relevant url is availble in the source-url attribute of the <media-source> element. For additional information about the terms and conditions of use of ToL materials, please refer to the page about Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

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