[tdwg-content] (no subject)

John Wieczorek tuco at berkeley.edu
Mon Apr 15 17:45:33 CEST 2013

Dear all,

I have been asked to cross-post here from a comment on the GBIF Community
site discussion of "The Management of TDWG Ontologies and Darwin Core" (
Given the subject matter, I feel like the whole discussion should take
place in the broader audience reached by this list.

While managing the Darwin Core, I advocated not to re-use any term that had
no status as a standard. It was partially for this reason that geo:lat and
geo:long were rejected (see
http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/detail?id=82). It worries me a
little to see a non-standard term (ncd:taxonCoverage, adopted in turn from
the TDWG Ontology, also not a standard, see
http://rs.tdwg.org/ontology/voc/Collection#taxonCoverage) being proposed
for adoption into the Audubon Core (see
Does that bother anyone else? The alternative, sadly, is to make up a new
term for ratification with the new standard.

So, questions. If Audubon Core is ratified with the Natural Collections
Descriptions (NCD) term in it, does that one term from NCD become a
standard term? Under what governance? What about the rest of the NCD
namespace? What about the TDWG Ontology. A lot of work went into both of
those, but each lost its champions and they remain incompletely reviewed,
especially in the context of all that has come to pass since they were
active. I know that people refer to the TDWG Ontology fairly often in
discussions, and that activity is still fomenting around that work with the
imminent publication of the RDF Guide for Darwin Core. But what about NCD.
What should we do with it? Does more than one person, group, or project
still want to use it? If not, there isn't a lot of reason to go to the
trouble of creating a data sharing standard if no one will use it to share.
But if its need is still alive and active, who can take up the standard and
promote its completion, review, and ratification?


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