[tdwg-tag] darwin core terms inside tdwg ontology

David Remsen dremsen at mbl.edu
Mon Apr 27 15:46:40 CEST 2009

Kevin,   Can you tell me what the limitations are on being able to  
exchange taxonomic information with the DwC terms?  As far as I can  
tell, you can exchange fairly complex taxonomic information short of  
concept-to-concept relations and I find the DwC-with-extensions  
approach we are using to exchanging information tied to taxa (not  
instances of taxa) to be a nice and practical compromise between  
complexity and practicality.   My understanding is that the IPT can  
output TCS/RDF for those who want it.   I am personally very happy to  
see the DwC taxon terms added.  Finally I can provide format  
specifications that biologists can understand.

David Remsen

On Apr 25, 2009, at 9:52 AM, Kevin Richards wrote:

> I see the ontology as a model of ALL (hopefully, eventually all) the  
> data in our domain of biodiversity informatics.
> I would love to see it as a standard (at the least it might give it  
> a bit more clout).
> I agree that the ontology is useful to tie other TDWG schemas  
> together, using it as a core/master model.  I would be happy to see  
> it used for ALL tasks within TDWG, but I understand the usefulnes of  
> the more specific schemas/standards - horses for courses.
> If I understand Stan here, I agree with him about the dubious use of  
> DwC for representing Taxon Concepts/Names.  As far as I know, it was  
> really intended as a transfer standard for observation records??  It  
> contains very limited taxon information!  It really is not a overly  
> difficult job to use a more suitable schema/ontology.  I think the  
> popularity of Darwin Core is due to its simplicity - and I wonder if  
> what Roger is proposing will help with this - ie an XML  
> implementation of the ontology as well as an RDF version.  This will  
> allow people to create very simple XML documents with reasonably  
> simple/flat data, eg an xml document of TaxonName entities, with  
> perhaps 6 or 7 or so key fields - even simpler than DwC.   :-)
> Kevin
> From: tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org [tdwg-tag- 
> bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Blum, Stan [sblum at calacademy.org]
> Sent: Saturday, 25 April 2009 6:12 a.m.
> To: Technical Architecture Group mailing list; exec at tdwg.org
> Subject: Re: [tdwg-tag] darwin core terms inside tdwg ontology
> From: tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org on behalf of John R. WIECZOREK
> Sent: Fri 2009-04-24 8:58 AM
> To: Roger Hyam
> Cc: Technical Architecture Group mailing list
> Subject: Re: [tdwg-tag] darwin core terms inside tdwg ontology
> Anything I should do on the DwC side in anticipation of harmony?
> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/index.htm#theterms
> ===========================================================
> John,
> At some point, all or (most) of the DarwinCore terms need to be  
> added to the TDWG ontology.
> But having said that, I also need to say that I'm uncomfortable with:
> 1) The current state of the TDWG ontology (primarily the naming  
> conventions; lets just use terms names), and our understanding of  
> the role it plays in TDWG and how it will be managed (entry of  
> terms, integration of terms into the conceptual [is-a / has-a]  
> relationships to other terms); and
> 2) the fact that the new DarwinCore straddles or overlaps the roles  
> of an ontology and an application schema.
> I understood the past TAG roadmaps to indicate that we were adopting  
> an approach in which the TDWG Ontology would be a repository for  
> data concepts that are present in (or implied by) TDWG standards;  
> and that real data transmission would be accomplished with  
> application schemas.  The ontology itself would not be a standard,  
> but would be a tool that helps integrate standards.  I thought our  
> standards would be created to function as application schemas or  
> components of application schemas (as in the DwC and its  
> extensions).  I am now pretty confused.  I'd like to hear the  
> rationale for combining taxonomic name/concept with organism  
> occurrence.  I haven't gone over all the existing docs, so apologies  
> if I've missed that, but I think it's confusing that a (new)  
> DarwinCore record could be either a taxonomic name or an organism  
> occurrence, or maybe something else.  Maybe I'm too attached to  
> object orientation and just don't GET the semantic web, but it feels  
> to me like we are stepping into squishy ground.
> Also, I the the DCMI maintenance procedures are also more  
> appropriately applied to the ontology than a TDWG standard.  The  
> existing process for ratifying TDWG standards and the procedure in  
> the DwC seem to be pretty explicitly in conflict; one can change the  
> other cannot (without becoming another thing).
> Is anyone else having these same trepidations?  I don't think I've  
> been as much of a Rip Van Winkle as Jim Croft, but I clearly missed  
> some important shifts.
> -Stan
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