Name for the standard

Jim Croft jrc at ANBG.GOV.AU
Wed Sep 17 13:29:46 CEST 2003

>In the note below and in previous notes, there seems to be an emphasis
>on SDD in the contect of "taxonomy"; but wouldn't it be more appropriate to
>place the emphasis more in the context of biological objects (e.g.,
>specimens), rather than abstract concepts (taxa)?

you are right, in part.  Although the SDD activity is undertaken by
taxonomists, it extends beyond the core of taxonomy and nomenclature to
delineation and description of the objects themselves (taxa mostly, to a
lesser extent specimens).  In fact, existing programs in this area such as
DELTA and LUCID handle nomenclature and taxonomy data extremely poorly...

>Even though the
>descriptive data may be applied directly to taxon concepts without an
>explicit reference to specific specimens/objects, ultimately the characters
>themselves that are being described are attached to a physical organism --
>whether or not the specific physical organism is explicitly identified, or
>merely implied.

we we may be getting into the philosophical realm here...  Our Rainforest
Key project actually scored recorded individual specimens for each
taxon...  most DELTA and LUCID implementations amalgamate and abstract this
to the level of taxon or taxon concept and score at this level...

of course, SDD should ideally handle both approaches...

>Ultimately, this is about a Standard for Structured Data to Describe
>Biological Objects -- isn't it?

I think that is what we are talking about...  you could leave out
'structured data' too and it will still make sense...


~ Jim Croft ~ jrc at ~ 02-62465500 ~ ~

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