From Wikipedia:

Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) is a Biodiversity informatics data standard that makes use of the Darwin Core terms to produce a single, self-contained dataset for species occurrence or checklist data. Essentially it is a set of text (CSV) files with a simple descriptor (meta.xml) to inform others how your files are organized. The format is defined in the Darwin Core Text Guidelines.[1] It is the preferred format for publishing data to the GBIF network.


VeSPER is a collection of visualisation components that allow biologists to investigate the taxonomic, geographic and temporal coverage of DWCA files along with a number of other quality indicators. While a DWCA may appear to be useful for a given purpose, it may also be missing a great deal of information or have data quality issues that have seen times, places, and taxa clumped into 'dumping grounds' within their respective fields. These visualisations will allow DWCA data providers to assess the quality of the data they are supplying, and for data users to assess any data sets they are considering using.

Graham, M., Kennedy, J. (2014). Vesper: Visualising Species Archives. Ecological Informatics, 24, 132-147. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2014.08.004