[tdwg-tag] Another reason why RDF is cool

Bob Morris ram at cs.umb.edu
Wed Sep 20 22:42:13 CEST 2006

Actually, Kevin Thiele came up with a spreadsheet representation  that 
may be of of the sort you are looking for in a meeting about the Global 
Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN), about which there is a 
TDWG session on Saturday. I'm charged with mentioning Kevin's 
representation. It's discussed at 
although dormant for a while. Contributions to that wiki welcome.


Roger Hyam wrote:
> Nice demo Rod!
> Makes me wonder how I can get a script to generate a spreadsheet to 
> fill in based on an RDFS vocabulary. Basically would be sheet for each 
> class, row for each instance, column for each property.....hmmm - 
> maybe later.
> Roger
> Roderic Page wrote:
>> I know that there is some scepticism about RDF, so I thought I'd 
>> relate an experience I had yesterday at The Natural History Museum in 
>> London. A colleague of mine has often complained about how hard it is 
>> to get his data (and data others have) into a useful form for the 
>> web, and that efforts such as the Semantic Web only seem to make this 
>> harder.
>> So, as an experiment, I attempted to get some information about an 
>> ant image into a local triple store. This involved putting some 
>> triples in a table using EditGrid (an online spreadsheet), grabbing 
>> the XML, converting it to RDF, and importing that into the triple 
>> store. See here for details: 
>> http://semant.blogspot.com/2006/09/adding-triples-using-editgrid.html.
>> The bottom line is that it was trivially easy to go from a 
>> spreadsheet to a triple store, and hence add new information about 
>> this ant. Writing it up in the blog took as long as the actual work.
>> This particular example concerns one image harvested from the web. 
>> Things like adding distribution records in bulk would be even easier.
>> So, my question is this: is there anything other than RDF that can 
>> make this as straightforward as it is? If so, I'd love to hear it...
>> Regards
>> Rod
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>> Professor Roderic D. M. Page
>> Editor, Systematic Biology
>> Graham Kerr Building
>> University of Glasgow
>> Glasgow G12 8QP
>> United Kingdom
>> Phone:    +44 141 330 4778
>> Fax:      +44 141 330 2792
>> email:    r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
>> web:      http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
>> iChat:    aim://rodpage1962
>> reprints: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/pubs.html
>> Subscribe to Systematic Biology through the Society of Systematic
>> Biologists Website:  http://systematicbiology.org
>> Search for taxon names: http://darwin.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/portal/
>> Find out what we know about a species: http://ispecies.org
>> Rod's rants on phyloinformatics: http://iphylo.blogspot.com
>> Rod's rants on ants: http://semant.blogspot.com
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Robert A. Morris
Professor of Computer Science
ram at cs.umb.edu
phone (+1)617 287 6466

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