Guidance for using data

The NBN Atlas is a powerful resource that we want to be used to share, display and analyse data.

Most data providers are not under any obligation to share data via the NBN Atlas and if they believe that doing so could result in environmental damage or undermine their ability to fund their operations, they could withhold or withdraw data.

For this reason, it is a fundamental feature of the NBN that data providers retain ownership and control of their data, and are acknowledged and receive proper credit when their data are used in reports or documents. Without our data partners the NBN Atlas couldn’t exist so we take this seriously.

Here you can find guidance for using biological data made available via the NBN Atlas.


Access to and use of material accessed through the NBN Atlas is governed by the NBN Atlas Terms of Use

  • Any document or product that makes use of data from the NBN Atlas must contain a statement that the Data Provider, Original Recorder [where identified], and the NBN Trust bear no responsibility for any further analysis or interpretation of that material, data and/or information.
  • Content that you access through the NBN Atlas website may also be subject to specific terms and conditions imposed by a Data Partner (Data Partner Terms). These Data Partner Terms may include certain licences to use the content (see below)
  • A data download is not evidence of data ‘misuse’ or even of intention to ‘misuse’ data.  However, we continue to take seriously proven contraventions of the NBN Atlas Terms of Use such as a report that contains data from the NBN Atlas without permission, acknowledgements, adherence to licence conditions or a waiver statement. Furthermore, breach of CC-BY-NC licence conditions may result in a fixed charge (TBA) being levied against the user.

How do I know which data I can use?

All data on the NBN Atlas will have an associated licence, which outlines the circumstances under which the data can be used. The type of data licence assigned can be found in the dataset metadata and within any data download. Licence type can also be displayed on the interactive map and within the Spatial Portal.

The available data licences are CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, and OGL.

  • CC0: ‘No rights reserved’ licence. All data is in the public domain and can be used for any purpose
  • CC-BY: This license allows others to use data, even commercially, as long as the original data creator is credited.
  • CC-BY-NC:This license allows others to use data only for non-commercial purposes. The original data creator must be credited. Guidance on non-commercial use can be found here
  • OGL: Open government licence, similar to the CC-BY, this license allows others to use data, even commercially, as long as the original data creator is credited.

If the data you wish to use is under a CC-BY-NC licence and your intended use is commercial, you can apply to the data provider for an exemption to the licence. Some data providers may charge for this.

More information on all of the available licences can be found on the Data Licences page.

Sensitive Species data

Data records for species that are listed on the agreed Sensitive Species List will only be publicly available at a blurred resolution. The blurred data can be used under the Creative Commons licence as determined by the data provider (this information can be found in the dataset metadata and within any data download).

You may apply to the data provider to gain access to the high resolution version of the sensitive species records. If access is granted, data use will be under a Restricted Re-use licence. The general Restricted Re-use conditions will be available soon. When granting the licence, data providers may apply additional conditions on the use of these data which must be adhered to.

More information can be found on the Sensitive species page