[tdwg-content] DwC Basis of Record & dcterms:type

John R. WIECZOREK tuco at berkeley.edu
Wed Dec 9 20:35:47 CET 2009


I think you've got it all straight. Comments inline...

On Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 8:43 AM, Roger Hyam <rogerhyam at mac.com> wrote:
> I apologise if I come to this debate a little late but prompted by John and
> my renewed interest in the TDWG Ontology I feel I should. I have several
> short points. I hope I am not out of scope not being fully conversant with
> the debate so far.
> Generally we judge the class of an object by its properties. i.e. If it
> walks like a duck and quacks it is probably a duck (apologies to
> ornithologists)


> The sender and receiver often have a different classification systems for
> messages. e.g. Published specimen data is often(perhaps usually) received
> and treated as occurrence data.


> I assume DwC is an generic way for marking up messages rather than a full
> blown ontology. The basisOfRecord and dcterms:type should therefore be
> thought of as hints on how to interpret a record rather than declarations of
> class membership. Class membership is decided by the receiver. An
> "unmissable special offer" to the sender may be a  "useful fire lighter" to
> the receiver.

True, DwC is a glossary of terms with only very limited ontological
implementation (some terms as refinements of others, for example).
dcterms:type and basisOfRecord are ways to capture something about the
meaning of the record.

> dcterms:type is used by the world and so should probably contain a generic
> term for systems/people who don't understand basisOfRecord.

The chosen solution is to not mess with dcterms:type and its type
vocabulary - leave it exactly as DC made it.

> basisOfRecord should contain anything that is well defined in natural
> language.

This is partly the chosen solution - the only thing I'd add is that
there is a recommended controlled vocabulary for it.

> I suppose I am saying I don't understand the problem. Can some one summarise
> it?

Summary, problem solved, though I am still working on formalizing it
in the documentation for the standard. Unusually cooperative weather
and the subsequent veritable explosion of tucos from their burrows
kept me so occupied during daylight hours (of which there are
currently many at 41 degrees south) that I had insufficient energy to
complete the task for this week as I had intended. Next week, I



> Thanks,
> Roger
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