Can we break down GUID problem into 2 hierarchical sub-problems?

Ricardo Scachetti Pereira ricardo at TDWG.ORG
Fri Nov 4 10:36:56 CET 2005

    Hello all,

    Based on the excellent exchange of ideas we had during the last few
days, I have a suggestion to move forward.
    From what Roderic said, I think it makes total sense to break down
the problem into more manageable pieces:

1) Assigning and resolving identifiers (that includes identifying
objects of any type in any granularity); and
2) Mapping uniquely identified data objects into a rich semantic web
(per and cross domain, i.e, specimens, names and concepts, observations,
ecological experiments, etc, along the lines of Donald's ontology idea).

    In my opinion, once we solve the problem of uniquely and globally
identifying objects (at any granularity), then we will have a nice
framework to develop a rich semantic mapping infrastructure.
    The strategy of breaking the problem into 2 components nicely
matches Donald's initial approach of breaking down the discussions into
topic: Donald's topic 1 is equivalent to problem 1 stated above and
topics 2 and 3 are equivalent to problem 2 above for two particular
subdomains (specimens and taxonomic names and concepts).

    So the question is: do we all agree that those two problems can be
solved hierachically (first solve #1 then use the solution to solve #2)?
At least to make the problem more manageable?


Roderic Page wrote:

> ...
>  GUIDs enable you to explicitly identify objects, that's all. This is a
> huge step towards integrating databases, but doesn't solve the mapping
> issue. Yes, mapping different GUIDs can be tricky, but this is an
> entirely separate question. I think there's a huge confusion between
> GUIDs and some sort of global taxonomy -- they are not the same thing.
> So, if you want to refer to a taxon in your database what do you do,
> you use a GUID from your favourite taxonomic database. If GBIF set up a
> project to map GUIDs from different databases (good luck to them), you
> could use that. This is a separate question -- but by using GUIDs I
> know what you are referring to (as an object), and so do others.
> Regards
> Rod

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