IDigBio API History

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Historical Information About Old APIs

Caution! Caution: This page refers to things that no longer exist.

The information in this document is a collection of old or incomplete documentation about APIs that iDigBio proposed or ran in the past. None of the things described below currently exist.

This information is assembled here so we can show the evolution of our API systems and also potentially to provide a source of ideas for the future.

Elasticsearch Interface

For a time iDigBio offered direct access to our Elasticsearch interface. Direct queries to the iDigBio Elasticsearch service are now deprecated because Elastico does not suggest that their query API can be secured against malicious use. It it also possible to construct very CPU expensive queries and since our ES cluster serves our interactive portal, we felt we can't let people run long-running queries on the same cluster. The iDigBio Search API should be used instead.

A public-facing interface to the iDigBio back-end Elasticsearch system is no longer available.

Media API

Media API Working Docs

Specimen map page:

Full Recordset Downloads

Instead of generating large queries in the portal or with the API, it may be easier to download iDigBio data from regular dumps of all data in iDigBio. These dumps are available from This is an S3-compatible object store (although it can be treated as a web server if that is easier) that contains .zip files of each record set in iDigBio named by recordset uuid as well as files containing all data across all records sets.


The iDigBio API v2 / iDigBio Search API specification includes detailed information about the Search API endpoints, parameters, query format, values, and returns. It is available in the github wiki associated with the code repository. The iDigBio Search API was released to production in June 2015.

iDigBio transitioned from version 1 to version 2 (v1 to v2) of the API. All v1 endpoints and documentation should be considered deprecated, even if they continue to function. Programmers who are interested in accessing data directly in iDigBio via an API should consult the v2 API documentation. The v2 API is also known as the iDigBio Search API.

The now-deprecated iDigBio API v1 Specification includes detailed information about the old v1 API endpoints, parameters, values, and returns. In most cases, the only reason to use the v1 API was to retrieve raw, unprocessed versions of a record (e.g. no iDigBio data quality enhancements) or to access previous versions of a particular record.