Globally Unique Identifier - Part ????

Julian H humphries at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Fri Sep 24 14:52:45 CEST 2004

At 02:30 PM 9/24/2004, Richard Pyle wrote:
>I think the important parts of this discussion surround the functional
>parameters of the GUIDs for biological objects:
>1) Should issuance of IDs be controlled from a single source; or freely
>created by anyone with a computer, anywhere, anytime; or something
>2) Is it important that all biological objects use the same scheme for ID
>sourcing, or is it advantageous to chose a scheme optimal for each class of
>object (e.g., privately owned and managed specimen data, vs. publicly owned
>and managed taxonomic nomenclature data)?

To provide another context for GUID's and LSID's, the CIPRes project (via
Dan Miranker)  is considering LSID's as the glue (there is probably a
better metaphor) for backpointers to datasources for taxa/characters/states
from the next version of Treebase.  That is, if you deposit a Nexus file
(which will obviously no longer be a monolithic 'file', but an XML
document) in TreeBase and have images/movies/voxel data sets to illustrate
a character state, a LSID will provide a source for exploring additional
supporting documentation for that cell of the matrix.  SDD fits into this
communication in ways that are clear only at a pretty abstract level, but
are involved in standardizing the exchange of data (mostly morphological)
between character sources and CIPRes.  We also imagine that a LSID will
provide a link to the taxon concept invoked for a row in the matrix and
presumably for specimens used to make the observations.

The interlinking of biodiversity and phylogenetic data in this context
suggests to this observer (somewhere between Richard Pyle and his aquarium
fish in terms of understanding), that a single source of ID's would not
scale.  It also strongly argues for LSID's over meaningless keys as
essential to projects like CIPRes, which only want to store the logic for
resolving a URN (and in real time for users of the data) that could refer
to a bunch of different kinds of things.

Hope that is clear (enough).

Wishing I was going to New Zealand, Julian

Julian Humphries
Geological Sciences
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712

More information about the tdwg-content mailing list