[tdwg-content] Add a Full Example: Re: Public comment on the Darwin Core RDF Guide

Steve Baskauf steve.baskauf at vanderbilt.edu
Sat Dec 13 04:59:46 CET 2014

That's exciting that you are trying to generate RDF using real data! 

I think we initially considered including something in the guide like 
what you have suggested, but the problem is that what constitutes "an 
Occurrence record" varies depending on the model one has in mind when 
serializing the record as RDF.  Historically, "occurrences" were 
considered to be a superclass that included specimens, and any property 
remotely related to a specimen could be included as part of an 
occurrence record.  A provider exposing an occurrence record might give 
it properties such as dwc:eventDate, dwc:preparations, and 
dwc:locality.  However, a different provider might consider 
dwc:eventDate to be the property of a dwc:Event instance, 
dwc:preparations to be the property of a dwc:PreservedSpecimen, and 
dwc:locality to be the property of a dcterms:Location instance and link 
those instances to a separate Occurrence instance via object properties. 

Which of these is correct?  At this point there is no consensus as to 
whether one of these approaches is better than the other.  We avoided 
putting extensive examples within the guide document itself, since the 
guide will become part of the standard and will probably not be changed 
frequently, whereas best practices for deciding the types of resources 
with which properties should be associated is likely to develop over 
time and with the experience of usage.  For that reason, we have 
included examples in the ancillary documents that are associated with 
the guide, but which do not form part of the standard.  The "examples 
using 'pure' Darwin Core" [1] and "Examples using Darwin-SW object 
properties" [2] illustrate the extremes that I've described above.


[1] https://code.google.com/p/tdwg-rdf/wiki/DwcRdfOccurrences
[2] https://code.google.com/p/tdwg-rdf/wiki/DwcRdfExamplesDarwinSW

Paul J. Morris wrote:
> As I've been working through implementing RDF generation in a few
> applications and seeking to conform to the guide, I've found myself
> spending a good bit of time hunting through the document looking for
> guidance on particular situations, this leads me to a suggestion for
> the guide: Include, at the end of the guide, a single comprehensive
> example of an Occurrence record, annotated to point to relevant
> sections in the guide.  This could serve both to quickly answer
> questions and as a visual index to the rest of the guide.
> -Paul

Steven J. Baskauf, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer
Vanderbilt University Dept. of Biological Sciences

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