Name for the standard

P. Bryan Heidorn heidorn at ALEXIA.LIS.UIUC.EDU
Tue Sep 16 22:25:35 CEST 2003

I think  in theory the SDD spec could be used to describe anything that can be
broken into characteristics and states. That can certainly go beyond biology
as DELTA did in some cases. I believe that, "Structure of Descriptive Data"
handles that idea. It can be a description of anything. The description may
itself be grounded in instance data from the world (specimens) that have been
abstracted or summarized.

The taxonomy component is needed to specify what it is that is being
described. In the realm of biology it would seem to be worth some effort to be
domain specific in this part to make sure we can capture this reference to a
"taxonomic concept."

>===== Original Message From TDWG - Structure of Descriptive Data
>>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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