Globally Unique Identifier

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Tue Oct 5 02:19:18 CEST 2004

I understand better your points here, and will consider them carefully this

Regarding assignment of GUIDs to electronic records rather than physical
specimens -- do you feel the same way about taxonomic names?  I'd hate to
have 5-10 ID numbers for every taxon name (e.g., one generated by GBIF, one
generated by ITIS, one generated by Species2000, etc.)  My understanding of
the whole point of BioGUIDs was to get away from this sort of duplication.

Clearly this will be a major point of discussion in New Zealand -- I'm
looking forward to it!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: TDWG - Structure of Descriptive Data
> [mailto:TDWG-SDD at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU]On Behalf Of Gregor Hagedorn
> Sent: Monday, October 04, 2004 11:36 PM
> Subject: Re: Globally Unique Identifier
> Richard's points about unifying to observations are very good and
> relevant to use. Indeed reexamination possibilities are not 100%
> dependent on collection versus observation-only data. The
> reexamination of a film or still picture is somewhat intermediate
> between the reexamination of field notes and of an actual specimen.
> Certain questions can be asked, others not. However, the main point
> is that these are properties of the observation and that more cases
> exist than museum or not.
> I basically disgree about assigning GUIDs to physical objects, if
> these are not unambigously attached to the object, rather than to one
> of possibly several data records. I have no problem if a barcode or
> RFID is a GUID rather than a local ID. I think it is not practical to
> demand all museums to change their physical system to a GBIF-chosen
> accession numbering system. It certainly would simplify life - I
> agree about desirability!
> > I'm not sure I understand the question.  I guess I would answer with
> > another question:  How does a Social Security Number (SSN) for a U.S.
> > Citizen > get attached to an individual person?  I don't think
> anyone would
> > think of a SSN as an identifier for a data object -- it is a unique
> > identifier for the physical person.
> Yes, but the association problem is solved here - and NOT by
> unreliable secondary data. You can ask a person to show you the
> government-produced SSN-card, which is at least somewhat difficult to
> falsify. If you can do the same with a physical specimen object - no
> problem. If you cannot, and have to "guess" the GUID by maiden name
> and last known address, SSN would be in trouble.
> Gregor----------------------------------------------------------
> Gregor Hagedorn (G.Hagedorn at
> Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology, and Biosafety
> Federal Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA)
> Königin-Luise-Str. 19           Tel: +49-30-8304-2220
> 14195 Berlin, Germany           Fax: +49-30-8304-2203

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