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CDDA data collection 2013 - additional information

Released on 2013-01-22 by: Marek Staron

To: Eionet PCPs and NRCs for Nature Protection and Biodiversity

Cc: Eionet National Focal Points

From: Marek Staron, EEA, on behalf of Rania Spyropoulou

Dear Colleague,

As we have announced in the CDDA data collection 2013 request letter from 14 December 2012, we are sending you this second letter to inform you about the recent development concerning the data collection.

Pre-loaded template files

Data packages are uploaded in draft envelopes on the CDR.

Data package with pre-loaded template files and additional documents has been prepared for each country. The package contains:

  • CDDA-***-20130118.mdb - Template database pre-loaded with the latest national tabular data in a structure defined by the CDDA Data Dictionary.
  • CDDA_GIS_site_boundaries_v10_***.zip - Latest spatial data of CDDA site boundaries in shapefile format.
  • CDDA national 2012 - Analysis report v1 - ***.pdf - Detailed quality assessment report on the latest tabular data.
  • CDDA_2012_***.kml - A geographic information file with the latest site coordinates provided in the CDDA tabular data. Coordinate marks are color coded based on their position against the country boundaries.
  • CDDA 2012 - ETC-BD analysis report.pdf - Report on the results of the analysis of the latest CDDA boundaries data performed by the ETC.
  • CDDA spatial data - guidance.doc - Short guidance document on key points regarding the preparation and delivery of spatial data for CDDA.
  • CDDA dissemination codes 2013.doc - A letter on issues related to dissemination codes changes or discrepancies between tabular and boundaries data (present only in packages for AUT, ESP, IRL, XKX, TUR).

*** is for country code or name

Each of the country data packages is uploaded in a draft envelope on the Reportnet Central Data Repository (CDR), in the respective CDDA collection folder of the country. The envelope has 2013 in its name, but otherwise follows the naming convention that you have used in the previous envelopes. Nominated data reporters and national focal points have access to this envelope.

Update of the CDDA data

Do not use a different or older version of the template database.

The pre-loaded template database should be verified and updated with your new information. The analysis reports, included in the package, provide information on problems and errors we have detected in your previous deliveries. Please try to correct them or provide an explanation if it is not possible.

Do not use a different or older version of the database template because quality checking and aggregation routines will fail. The database provides a possibility to run selected quality checks on the data. We recommend you use it and fix the detected issues before you export the data to XML and upload them on the agreed data repository (see below).

Site codes

Use site code distribution web service to reserve new codes for your sites.

As have been announced we have changed the way how you can request site codes for your new sites. A web service for distribution of site codes has been developed by the EEA. The service is available at:

We kindly ask you to use this service to reserve new codes for your sites.

Front page of the service will provide you basic information about the background of site codes used in the CDDA and also a search function, which you can use to keep track of your codes. The codes have one of the following statuses which you can use as filter in the search:
  • available - code is free to be allocated by any country
  • allocated - code has been allocated, or reserved by a country but has not been yet reported in any CDDA delivery
  • assigned - code has been reported in a CDDA delivery and is assigned to a particular site
  • deleted - code has been assigned to a site that has been flagged for deletion by the national reporter in one of the previous CDDA deliveries. Code can not be reused and should never again appear in any CDDA delivery. If this happens it will be treated as an error and the responsible country will be asked to clarify and correct it.
  • disappeared - code has been assigned to a site that has been removed by national reporter from one of the previous CDDA deliveries without correctly flagging it for deletion. Real status of the site is unknown and country will be asked to clarify its disappearence. Re-use of the disappeared site codes must be consulted with the ETC/BD.

Search results can be exported to csv files (see a link under the search result)

CDDA template database

If you are one of the appointed Reportnet users (NFPs and NRCs for nature and biodiversity) you can log-in to the service and allocate available codes for your country. You will also see how many codes you have currently allocated. Allocations can be done by two methods which are described on the allocation page (see the picture on the left).

As of now the national users can not allocate more than 500 site codes. If you already have 500 or more codes allocated and need more, you must contact ETC/BD with explanation (see contact information). If the explanation is considered valid the ETC/BD will allocate the site codes for you.

Anytime new codes are allocated for your country, either by you or by another authorized user, you will receive an e-mail notification with a list of the codes.

Please be aware that the site code distribution service is new and has not undergone any extensive testing. If any unexpected problems occur we kindly ask you to report it to Eionet Helpdesk. We also appologise for any inconvenience this can bring to you.

Data delivery and Automatic QA

Please export your data to xml files, upload them and check the results of the automatic QA.

Your quality checked data should be uploaded, after consultation with the National Focal Point, either to the Central Data Repository or to your national EIONET server, depending on the choice of your country for delivering EIONET priority data, by the deadline of: 15 March 2013.

You can upload back to the draft envelope created by EEA or if this has been completed you can create a new envelope.

The delivery should consist of the following parts:

  • Microsoft Access database - updated template database. Please use only the original .mdb format, don't change it to the newer .accdb
  • XML files - these files should be created by you by using 'Generate XML files' function in the database template. XML files are needed for Automatic QA service to provide you with an immediate feedback on the quality of your delivery.
  • GIS boundaries data - updated .shp files with sites boundaries polygons. Boundaries of designations not creating sites should be also present if possible.
  • Additional information - any supporting or clarifying information that you think is necessary in order to explain your delivery. Use any format you think will serve the purpose.

The update of automatic quality assurance (QA) procedures for the CDDA data had to be postponed due to development and implementation of the Site code distribution web service. We plan to finalize it by the end of January or in the early weeks of February. We therefore kindly ask you, if you manage to finalize update of your CDDA data earlier, please, postpone your deliveries to later dates in February or to March.

Once updated, the automatic QA will check the following data quality indicators:

  • availability of mandatory fields
  • duplicities in primary key fields
  • correctness of data types of provided values
  • correctness of used codes where codelists are defined, including the correct use of site codes
  • position of sites coordinates against the country boundary boxes

The automatic QA service requires that you upload your data in xml format. You get them by using the 'Generate XML files' function in your template. It will create one file per table. Please zip the files and upload them to the CDR together with the MS Access database. The zip archive will be automatically unzipped.

Once you are done, you will notice that a 'Run QA #1' button appears with each of the xml files in addition to the 'Run Full QA' and 'Run relation QA' buttons. We recommend that you use these in order to check the quality of your data. The full QA is automatically executed when you release the envelope and results are then stored in the Feedback section of the CDR envelope. If any problems are detected, please try to fix them and redeliver your data before you close the envelope. The more problems you can fix before you release the data, the faster your deliveries can be processed.

A further level of data quality checks will be carried out by ETC data managers and EEA, as usual.

Helpdesk and support


If the people working directly on the CDDA data delivery in your country are not PCPs or NRCs, please copy this letter to them so that they are aware of the wider context of their work at the European level.

Finally, we kindly remind you that the CDDA data collection period will run until 15 March 2013. We also sincerely apologize for any inconvenience the delay in the data collection preparation could cause you.

Mette Lund EEA Project officer - Biodiversity information
Marek Staron EEA Project Officer - Data operator
European Environment Agency