[tdwg-tag] TAG Spring News Letter?

Roger Hyam roger at tdwg.org
Thu Apr 5 15:19:16 CEST 2007

Dear Fellow TAG Member,

The TAG mailing list has been quiet recently which may give the  
impression that there has been little action in terms of the new  
standards architecture. This is far from the truth. By its nature the  
TAG runs across almost all of the activities in TDWG and progress has  
been made in many separate areas that is contributing to the  
implementation of the overall vision as outlined in last years  
roadmap document:


This is a (possibly one off) news letter that summarizes some of the  
activities. Please shout out if I have missed anything or  
misrepresented anything.

Ontology and LSID Vocabularies.

An initial high level ontology for TDWG was presented at St Louis  
meeting. This is a useful overview of the TDWG domain across the  
existing schemas and standards.


Since that meeting the focus has been on developing application level  
classes within the ontology that can be used to define the metadata  
returned by LSID providers that are coming on line this year. These  
classes have been termed the LSID Vocabularies:


The relationship between these 10 or so application level classes and  
the higher level ontology is being left somewhat vague at this point  
to allow the development of deployable systems now. Future changes in  
the ontology to more tightly integrate the LSID Vocabularies will be  
required to allow for inference across the data in the future but  
should not require significant changes of instance data (the deployed  
base) as the classes are insulated in their own namespaces.

The tool presented in St Louis to allow collaborative editing of the  
ontology has been abandoned in favor of the use of regular IDEs to  
produce RDF/OWL documents a Subversion repository. The need to port  
the ontology into many different technologies was not supported by  
further investigation but LSID Vocabularies will be presented in XML  
Schema so that they can be integrated with the TAPIR data providers -  
see below.

LSID Adoption

By the end of the year it is planned that LSID providers will include  
IPNI, Index Fungorum and ZooBank for TaxonName objects. Species2000/ 
Catalogue of Life annual checklist for TaxonConcepts, Herb IMI for  
Specimens. There will be a toolkit available for publishing  
Collections data in LSID Vocabulary format and issuing LSIDs for  
them. Many data sources will either be LSID enabled or in a position  
to deliver data as RDF based on the TDWG ontology - thanks to a  
combination of the TAPIR protocol/provider software and the LSID  

Progress with TAPIR protocol and providers.

The TAPIR protocol is now ready to enter the new TDWG standards track  
as Version 1 and two wrapper implementations are available -PyWrapper  
and TAPIRLink. It has been established (at a very successful TAPIR  
developers meeting in Copenhagen) that TAPIR will support delivery of  
RDF data based on the ontology. This mechanism is currently being  
refined through the use of avowed XML Schemas.

TAPIR providers are being rolled out in the USA and Europe this year  
and with them will go the ability to map to the ontology and exchange  
data in RDF.

A diagram summarizing the standards architecture is on the home page  
of the TAG Wiki


New charter for the new organisation structure.

TDWG was re-organized at the St Louis meeting. There is now a  
hierarchy of subgroups consisting of  Interest Groups  that contain  
Task Groups. All subgroups were asked to re-submit their charters and  
this has now been done for the TAG. The new charter is on the TAG  
Wiki home page. There are few changes from the previous charter.

There seems to be general agreement that the TAPIR subgroup and the  
GUID subgroup will become Task Groups within the TAG Interest Group  
but this can't happen until the executive have reviewed and accepted  
the TAG charter.

How about a meeting?

The dates have now been set for the TDWG 2007 meeting (16-23  
September 2007 - Bratislava, Slovakia). By that date the TAG needs to  
put together a new Roadmap document describing the outlook for  
2007/8.  Funding may be available (from the TDWG Infrastructure  
Project) to hold a meeting of key individuals within the TAG at some  
point over the northern summer to help put that documents together.  
We would need to put a good case together to get it funded as we  
would be in competition with other groups. Whether or not we have a  
meeting I would like to hear opinions on how the TAG should be  
represented at the Bratislava meeting. Should we have a session  
within the main meeting? Should we have a pre-meeting?

Your input required

The TAG seems to be operating as a network of individuals rather than  
a single conversation. This is a good thing in that people don't have  
to spend a lot of time sifting through stuff that doesn't effect  
them. It is a bad thing in that it is easy for people to feel left  
out of the process.

If you would like to be more involved or think we should be looking  
at something we are not please let me know, bring it up on the  
mailing list or start a page on the wiki.

All the best for Easter and the coming Spring/Autumn depending on you  



   Roger Hyam <roger at tdwg.org>
   Biodiversity Information Standards: http://www.tdwg.org/

   TDWG Standards Architecture: http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/TAG
   LSID RDF Vocabularies: http://wiki.tdwg.org/twiki/bin/view/TAG/ 

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