[tdwg-content] Species Concept to GNI Namestring Linking - Initial Experiments

Peter DeVries pete.devries at gmail.com
Wed Sep 29 23:51:44 CEST 2010

In preparation for the Nomina session on Thursday.

Here are some things to look at for the session titled "Exploring Semantic
Web Technologies for Global Names Architecture Name Resolution"

Dima and I have figured out a way to expose the name strings in the GNI to
the Semantic Web.

At this point it is really about exploring ways in which distributed data
projects can link to entities in the GNI.

In these experiments we have been exploring the mapping of names strings to
species concepts.

For the most part these should work with different kinds of species concepts
but for now this experiment is using the TaxonConcept.org concepts.

The html version for humans of the relevant species concept is <
The RDF version for computers of the relevant species concept is <

The initial stages were fairly basic. This concept has some association with
the following name strings in the GNI.

There was no real effort to determine the nature of these relationships
until very recently.

I marked up an RDF file that makes the following relationship assertions
about how a concept is related to a particular name string.

The GBIF site mentioned a movement toward databasing names in the following
plain text form *Puma concolor (Linnaeus 1771)*
* Italics can be added in web views etc.

For the sake of argument, lets say that the preferred from is like that
above with no comma between the author and date.

This particular string could them be mapped to slight variations that are
correctly formed and mean the same thing.

This particular string could also be mapped to common misspellings etc of
the same name.

Those various alternatives form a lexical group.

Similarly, the synonym *Felis concolor Linnaeus 1771* also has a list of
essentially correct strings of characters and common malformed variants.

This would be a second lexical group.

So the concept represented by this page and URI can then be related to these
name variants and a linkage is formed between the
entities in the TaxonConcept Dataset and the GNI dataset.

These relationships can be represented in the N3 form which some humans find
easier to interpret than the alternative RDF/XML form.

Note that these predicates have the "URI" suffix to differentiate between
those predicates that expect URI object and and similar predicates that
expect a literal object.

 Predicate                                        Object
txn:hasAcceptedScientificNameURI  <
<http://lod.taxonconcept.org/ses/v6n7p#Species> txn:hasSynonymNameURI
<http://lod.taxonconcept.org/ses/v6n7p#Species> txn:hasBasionymNameURI

Rather than rely on inferencing I also make the reverse relationship

txn:isAcceptedScientificNameURI_Of  <
  txn:isAcceptedScientificNameURI_Of  <
  txn:isBasionymNameURI_Of              <

These same statements are made in RDF/XML in the following RDF <
http://lod.taxonconcept.org/tdwg_nomina.rdf >

When exposed to the Linked Open Data Cloud those statements are associated
with both the species concept and the GNI namestrings.

In my own quad store you can see that they appear in this view of the
species concept:


Not that relevant statements from other databases also appear -
demonstrating one of the key advantages of the Linked Data approach.
The nomina RDF and other information is part of this view even though it was
not part of the basic species concept RDF above.

The same concept is viewable on the cloud via the prettier Sig.ma service.

< http://sig.ma/search?pid=9421eef0751cff0694b481d744607c98 >

Note Sig.ma service also resolves the GNI namestring URI and exposed the
rdf:label associated with that URI.

- Pete

Pete DeVries
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
445 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
TaxonConcept Knowledge Base <http://www.taxonconcept.org/> / GeoSpecies
Knowledge Base <http://lod.geospecies.org/>
About the GeoSpecies Knowledge Base <http://about.geospecies.org/>
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