[tdwg-content] New terms need resolution: "Individual"

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Mon Jul 18 15:24:00 CEST 2011

Thanks, Cam -- this is helpful.

> Again, for a diagram, please refer to the image on:
>    http://code.google.com/p/darwin-sw/
> Steve and I used `Token' as the class name for anything that provides
> evidence of a dwc:Occurrence.  The Token could be an image, a dried
> specimen, or...

OK, I think that answers my question, then. It's intended as evidence of the
Occurrence of an Organism at a Place & time (=Event), not simply evidence
that the organism exists/existed.  In that case, yes: Evidence is quite
distinct from Organism.  I guess I was thinking too much in terms of
specimen, where the evidence *is* the organism.  I guess there may be other
forms of Evidence as well, such as an electronic tracking tag attached to an
organism.  This sort of evidence would not help identify the taxon of the
organism (as an image and specimen would), but it would certainly represent
evidence of an Organism at a place & time. But I see in your diagram (took
me ten minutes to open that page from here), that you have a relationship
between Token and Identification.  I'm assuming that's not a mandatory
relationship -- i.e., it would only apply to the subset of Tokens (Evidence
instances) that provide taxonomically useful information (which an
electronic tracking tag would not).

> > Also, does a literature citation of a particular organism at a
> > particular place/time constitute a form of Evidence? Or is that simply
> > captured as an Occurrence, without any tangible evidence (as, I
> > imagine, an Observation would be captured)?
> ... an Observation. I see a literature citation as documentation of an
> Observation, which provides evidence for an occurrence.  If we wanted to
> integrate Darwin-SW, or even DwC with existing observational ontologies
> (e.g. OBOE, https://semtools.ecoinformatics.org/oboe), we could allow an
> oboe:Observation to also be a Token, providing evidence for a
> dwc:Occurrence.

OK, I can see that. A literature citation could include an image, and could
include reference to a specimen, but I suppose in that case the image and
the specimen would then each stand alone as their own instance of Evidence
(independent of the literature citation), in which case the literature
citation becomes effectively the same as a specimen label or a slip of paper
documenting an observation record (i.e., Documentation of Evidence, rather
than Evidence per se).

> Please see the discussion of Token at:
>    http://code.google.com/p/darwin-sw/wiki/ClassToken

Alas, my internet connection is too slow, so I'll look at it when I get
home.  You've certainly cleared up my confusion with respect to the
respective roles of Evidence and Organism [=Individual], and I fully agree
they are fundamentally different.


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