[tdwg-content] DwC for the semantic web
steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu
Thu Apr 28 04:01:43 CEST 2011
With the exciting development of Semantic Web technologies, many of us already need a way to consistently express DwC in RDF. In particular, we need it to meet the requirements for GUID resolution (as expressed in the TDWG applicability guide) and to be able to share and aggregate diverse kinds of biodiversity metadata in the Linked Open Data world.
After several months of development, stimulated by the tdwg-content discussions of last Fall, we would like to offer an
ontology for consideration, based on Darwin Core terms:
General site: http://code.google.com/p/darwin-sw/
Using namespace dsw = "http://purl.org/dsw/"
It is a candidate for general usage, but we do not claim it is _the_ solution, and greatly respect the efforts by others to develop similar ontologies, from which we have learned much. However, for DSW, we wanted to use existing DwC terms for classes and data properties whenever possible and only create new terms when there were no existing terms that would do the job. We did feel that there was a need for clarity in how resources should be typed (i.e. rdf:type property) and for object properties that expressed the relationships among classes unambiguously. Please see the Rationale, DesignPrinciples and ClassesAndTypes wiki pages at the above address.
In the ontology, we sought to embody relationships among classes based on our perception of the community consensus of what the classes represent and how they are related to each other, as expressed in posts to the tdwg-content list. Thus each class is documented carefully on the wiki with hyperlinked references to specific tdwg-content posts. We also sought
to clarify or resolve issues that were raised in the list discussion, most notably the relationship among Occurrences and the evidence that documents them (i.e. tokens), and the role of "individuals". See wiki pages for the Token, Occurrence, and IndividualOrganism classes.
The ontology is now in use at http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/, and we intend to use it more widely. We would value your opinions on the fitness of this ontology as a general solution for consistently expressing DwC concepts in RDF.
Steve Baskauf and Cam Webb
steve.baskauf at Vanderbilt.Edu
cwebb at oeb.harvard.edu
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