[tdwg-guid] First step in implementing LSIDs?

Jason Best jbest at brit.org
Fri Jun 1 22:01:17 CEST 2007

Greetings GUIDers,

We are in the process of adding new functionality to our biodiversity
database application that would include adding LSID "compliance" to our
existing database of botanical collections. I have some questions about
how the rest of the community is addressing some particular issues.

I've read through the TDWG GUID Wiki and there seems to be some debate
about how LSIDs should be applied to various entities in a system. I
like the ideas I've read about "conceptual entities" and "hubs" because
this lines up well with many of our ideas of how LSIDs could work for
us. We do have a lot of images but right now our primary concern is with
the collection metadata, so for the sake of this email, I'm going to
exclude any questions about image or other bytecode. We will not be
implementing an LSID resolver immediately, but we do want to make sure
our schema and implementation of LSIDs will allow us a easy and seamless
transition to having a proper resolver.

At this stage, we are only concerned with assigning LSIDs to
collections/collection events, specimens and versions of each. Since
these aren't represented by bytecode we don't have to be concerned about
issuing a new LSID each time  the metadata changes (through
improvements/changes in determination, geolocation etc),  but we also
don't want to throw away the previous revisions so the concept of a
"hub" would serve well. This hub would allow us to have a single
unchanging LSID that points to (or returns) the current metadata but
also points to each LSID for the previous collection revisions. A change
in the collection metadata would not change the LSID of the collection
hub, it would just create a new collection version record which is
issued a new LSID and promoted to "current". This collection hub would
also point to a "hub" for each of the specimens that are represented by
the collection and these specimen hubs would each point to the current
metadata for the specimen as well as the previous versions. We would not
be using the revision method of LSIDs, rather we would issue a totally
new LSID for each version as recommended by TDWG.

So the big questions are, 1) does this sound in line with the spec and
2) does this method of issuing LSIDs for "hubs" and revisions fit in
with the approach others are taking? Any suggestions or caveats are


Jason Best
IT Manager - Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program
Botanical Research Institute of Texas

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