[tdwg-tag] darwin core terms inside tdwg ontology

Blum, Stan sblum at calacademy.org
Fri Apr 24 20:12:06 CEST 2009

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?



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
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