[tdwg-content] Darwin Core

Chuck Miller Chuck.Miller at mobot.org
Mon Apr 15 17:58:32 CEST 2013

On this same subject, what about the various Darwin Core term extensions at GBIF that are used by the GBIF Darwin Core Archive Validator? http://tools.gbif.org/dwca-validator/extensions.do

There are a number of terms being created outside NCD and Darwin Core and TDWG. What does this mean to the TDWG Ontology and TDWG Vocabularies in general? Do we need formal multi-term synonymy or cross referencing to embrace the emerging real world of multiple overlapping terms standards?


On Apr 15, 2013, at 10:45 AM, "John Wieczorek" <tuco at berkeley.edu<mailto:tuco at berkeley.edu>> wrote:

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" (http://community.gbif.org/pg/forum/topic/29426/discussion-of-management-of-the-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 http://terms.gbif.org/wiki/Audubon_Core_Term_List_%281.0_normative%29#ncd:taxonCoverage). 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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