[tdwg-guid] BioGUID

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Tue Mar 20 15:14:43 CET 2007

Dear All,

I've put together a web site called http://bioguid.info which, rather  
grandly, is an attempt to bootstrap the biodiversity Semantic Web by  
providing resolvable URIs for biological objects, such as publications,  
taxonomic names, nucleotide sequences, and specimens.

These URIs (or "GUIDs") can be resolved by a web browser to display  
HTML, but under the hood are resolved to RDF (which you can see by  
viewing the source of the web page you get for a URI).

The web interface is really window dressing, I just wanted a way to  
display RDF that wouldn't frighten people (me included). For some URIs  
all I do is grab XML and reformat it (e.g., DOIs). For GenBank records,  
all manner of agony is involved in trying to extract specimen and  
publication links.

A good place to get a sense of what bioguid.info is about is to start  
with this Pubmed record: http://bioguid.info/pmid:17079492

 From this, you can get a list of sequences. If you click on one of  
those, you'll see a link to a specimen, which you can then look at  
(you'll need Firefox 1.5, Camino, Webkkit, or a browser with a SVG  
plugin for the full effect).

What I'm hoping to do is start doing things like taking a TreeBASE  
record, getting the linked sequences, running these through  
bioguid.info to extract georeferenced specimen links, so with minimal  
effort we get a map (and eventually a Google Earth tree a la Bill  

The glue to make this happen comprises HTTP URIs that are  
dereferenceable to RDF. This is my mantra for the day.



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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