Taxonomic hierarchy in SDD

Robert A. (Bob) Morris ram at CS.UMB.EDU
Mon Nov 26 22:43:27 CET 2001

We may not be arguing here. I don't dispute the need for this, only
argue that there should not be a standard for taxonomy, but rather a
standard for how to specify taxonomy. Or any other hierarchy for that

Doing this would allow you to get the hiearchy from /any/ suitable
source, including but not limited to the data source itself. To me it
seems that the least brittle thing for data inheritance is to use the
same model as for datatype inheritance, i.e. a separate "schema" to
which reference is made, as Tim Jones argued.

Steve Shattuck writes:
 > Date:         Tue, 27 Nov 2001 14:07:35 +1100
 > From: Steve Shattuck <Steve.Shattuck at>
 > To: TDWG-SDD at
 > Subject:      Re: Taxonomic hierarchy in SDD
 > If a dataset includes the descriptions of two families and 4 genera but
 > doesn't tell you which genera belong to which family you will be forced to
 > get this information from someplace else (e.g. ITIS).  If the dataset is
 > based on a different arrangement from ITIS you don't know this because the
 > dataset didn't tell you because it's not part of the standard. In this case
 > the data won't make sense because the family descriptions need to be a
 > superset of the genera which belong to them.  I think this is a pretty basic
 > problem if we want to support hierarchical data (taxa at different taxonomic
 > ranks).
 > Again, if you don't want to follow the author of the dataset then you are
 > free to ignore the suggested classification - but I would strongly suggest
 > that you better know what the author is thinking and ignore all of her data
 > if you don't agree with it, not accept the descriptions while rejecting the
 > classification.
 > Steve

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