[tdwg-content] most GUIDs/URIs for names/taxon stuff not ready for prime time

Peter DeVries pete.devries at gmail.com
Fri Jan 7 23:00:42 CET 2011

Hi Tony,

That is why I think everyone should get behind the GlobalName Index which is
a EoL.org / GBIF.org project. It includes the names from ITIS et al.

The work I am doing with Dima is still experimental and in development, but
it demonstrates how two independent databases can autogenerate a shared

That idea, in itself, is interesting even if you don't like UUID's etc. or
the particular way the RDF is implemented now.

I find ITIS very valuable, but it has a different ID's for the different
name's for what would many would consider the same concept.

So if a given species name changes from *Aedes triseriatus* to *Ochlerotatus
triseriatus* a new ID is generated.

This is different than how NCBI does it, but ITIS has more names.

Also NCBI does not tell you anything about what is or is not an instance of
a given species.

Since I think ITIS and NCBI are useful resources I link to it when I find an
appropriate ID to match to. You can see this in my RDF.

I would encourage ITIS to continue and think about exposing at least some of
the data as RDF using CoolURI's.


<http://www.w3.org/TR/cooluris/>http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI (i.e.
do the best you can :-)

There are LOD compliant URI's for the NCBI ID's via bio2rdf and uniprot.

One of the major advantages of the Linked Open Data approach is that there
does not have to be one central place for everything.

Data sets can be distributed and each group can focus on it's core

Even things like species concepts could be distributed, but I think it would
be best to first get a common understanding of how they will work.

Or at least a couple different "kinds" of standard species concepts.

I see several kinds of species-like resources out there now, some are
name-based (ITIS), others are more like concepts (NCBI). Some entail
a particular classification (NCBI, CoL, etc.). Others coin a species concept
to which various classifications are associated (TaxonConcept.org)

We are at the start of trying to untangle this mess and a good place to
start is one resource that contains all the name uses.

Besides is there any one else willing to take on the responsibility to
collect and curate the 400 name variants that can exist for one species?

>From this we can begin to connect those names to each other and as well as
related data sets like publications and occurrences etc.

I think it is good to have a diversity of projects even if there is some
overlap. Each group adds some interesting ideas and perspective.


- Pete

P.S. Another thing we need is a shared set of URI's for attribution so that
they can be easily and efficiently incorporated and tracked.

e.g.  dataprovidedBy <http://some.shared.org/providers#ITIS>

A simple URI rather than a huge glob of text and images for each little

Perhaps using the void vocabulary http://vocab.deri.ie/void/guide

On Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 2:11 PM, <Tony.Rees at csiro.au> wrote:

> Dear all,
> From where I sit (very much on the sideline of this debate, waiting to see
> what happens), the main trouble I see is that (1) anyone and his dog can
> mint yet another unique identifier for the same taxon name, leading to
> uncontrolled proliferation and never ending ID reconciliation issues, and
> (2) there are always some names not on any particular external "identifier
> assigning" list which therefore lack an identifier (however have a
> scientific name) just when you want one. No problem, just mint your own,
> however that feeds back into (1) again...
> Just curious - ITIS TSNs would have to be one of the longest established
> and promoted systems of "non-name" identifiers for taxon names - have they
> been successful in anyone's view, or if not, why not...
> Any comments appreciated.
> Regards - Tony

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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