[tdwg-content] Proposed changes to Darwin Core
jsachs at csee.umbc.edu
Tue Jul 22 22:16:32 CEST 2014
I’d like to direct everyone’s attention to issues 204 - 226 in the Darwin
Core issue tracker . These issues describe proposed changes to the
Darwin Core standard, and were entered back in January in follow up to the
Documenting Darwin Core workshop held at TDWG 2013. These proposals
reflect what the organizers of that workshop believe to be the consensus
that was reached during the workshop’s four sessions in Florence.
The background for this is that, for some time, a number of TDWGers have
been working towards an applicability statement to provide guidance on
expressing Darwin Core data using RDF. In the course of this work, it
became apparent that the semantics of Darwin Core itself needed a slight
re-think, in order to be usable on the semantic web. The goal was to be
backward-compatible, i.e. to introduce and re-define terms in a way that
does not affect the meaning of existing Darwin Core spreadsheet data, but
which provides the semantic grounding necessary for meaningful RDF. I
think this goal has, for the most part, been realized. If you have
examples to the contrary, please share them.
Steve Baskauf provides a good overview of the proposals in Issue 204. Of
all of them, only Issue 205 (the introduction of a class to represent the
taxonomically homogenous units that are described in Darwin Core
occurrence data) was contentious, primarily because we disagreed on a good
name for the class. (“We” refers to the ad-hoc group that worked on
translating the notes from the workshop into concrete proposals - John
Wieczorek, James Macklin, Markus Döring, Rich Pyle, Tim Robertson, Bob
Morris, Hilmar Lapp, Steve Baskauf, Gregor Hagedorn, and myself.) I’ve
mentioned my own concerns as a comment on that issue.
There is one proposal that had the support of the group, but that is not
yet entered into the Issue Tracker - the deprecation of dwc:basisOfRecord.
The motivation for this proposal is that dwc:basisOfRecord is widely
misunderstood and inconsistently used, coupled with the fact that GBIF
currently uses basisOfRecord with the semantics of the (to be proposed)
dwc:hasEvidence term. However, we have held back on proposing
"hasEvidence", as there remain some unresolved issues regarding how it would be used. This
will likely be left as future work, perhaps to be tackled at TDWG 2014.
Many thanks to all who participated in the workshop, and to all who take
the time to review its outcomes.
1. https://code.google.com/p/darwincore/issues/list ["ID" -> "Sort Down"
to see in order]
More information about the tdwg-content