Characters and States and GUIDs and descriptive data

Dag Terje Endresen dagterje at NGB.SE
Wed Jan 25 18:04:22 CET 2006


Thanks for the interesting discussion on descriptive data! This is of
high relevance to the germplasm genebanks as well.

Assigning a GUID to phenotype (character) would allow a statement like
disease resistance measured on specimen GUID_#s1 according to the
measurement method described and defined by GUID_#p1 (which could for
example be percent of leaf covered by fungus or similar). Food crop
phenotypes are often measured according to measurement standards
defined and published by IPGRI or UPOV. I think persistent actionable
GUIDs for the characters would be of great value and that we would soon
see plant breeders and scientists collecting public phenotype data if
the measured values (states) from different datasets are made more
readily interoperable. Assigning GUIDs are however not the complete
solution. The context of the measurement (like for example climate,
humidity) would make the scored values incomparable without information
on this modifier. I think this is addressed by SDD. Comparing phenotype
states from different datasets and different context are much more
challenging than uniquely identifying characters and states. But it
would be one nice step in a useful direction.

Dag Terje

Quoting Roger Hyam <roger at>:

Hi Robert,

I think you restated the question well. I am afraid I have the question
just now but not the answer ;)

To me it seems to make more sense for a user to string concepts together
to make a meaning rather than defining every possible contextual
meaning. So if a central thesaurus defined flower and colour they could
be strung together as a series of assertions in a descriptive document.
In N3:

mytaxa:rose myterms:has _:att .
_:att rdf:type myterms:flower .
_:att myterms:is myterms:red .

There would still be room for specific complex predicates and objects to
be defined centrally but in general this appears to allow for greater
flexibility in an open system. It might not suite all tastes though.


Robert Huber wrote:
> Thank you Roger!
> I heard about DELTA and SDD seems to be very interesting! So when we
are thinking about GUIDs in this context I assume you would assign a
GUID on the 'contextual meaning of terms'? E.g. what open means when
you describe a open umbilicus?
> A GUID would then direct the user to a document/ db entry which
explains that ?  Or would the GUID be assigned to a complete SDD
> best regards,
> Robert

More information about the tdwg-tag mailing list