[tdwg-tag] [BULK] TDWG ontology revisited ... a newcomer's perspective

Lee Belbin leebel at netspace.net.au
Fri May 15 03:05:07 CEST 2009

Hi Rupert


Sorry I didn't specifically address your idea about mentors in my last post.
It's a darn good notion, but I fear that the techies who are the ones who
know the domain best are so overloaded (and in some cases burnt out) that
adding mentoring to their agenda may be tricky. TDWG depends on a few key
individuals with advanced skills to progress standards development. Those
poor buggers are stretched to the limit. All the rest of us struggle to
comprehend, let alone catch up. 


But as many have said, TDWG needs to address the knowledge gap. I have
sponsored 1-page 'Executive Summaries'  for Darwin Core, ABCD, TCS, TAPIR,
NCD (see the various groups web sites) but we don't have anything similar on
the ontology for example. I may try and tackle this unless someone else
would like to have a go. Any others ideas are more than welcomed.


We did run a series of introductory workshops at the meeting last year in
Fremantle. These were extremely well attended and did seem to work a treat
in getting a lot of people up to speed in four different. By the way that
the programme is shaping for Montpellier, it looks extremely doubtful that
we will have opportunity for a similar set of workshops, except maybe for an
EDIT scratchpad workshop I believe. I suspect that the Theme on Data
Integration that Roger is leading may provide an opportunity to get up to
speed and advance some aspects. Feel free to add to the current pandemonium
of the poor Programme Committee at


I've cc'd Adrian who can add your mentoring idea to the agenda of the
Executive Committee meeting that we need to have soon. BTW: I have led the
push for mentoring in two large organisations, currently have a mentor and
am mentoring someone else. So I am a keen advocate!






Lee Belbin

TDWG Secretariat


From: tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org
[mailto:tdwg-tag-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of
rupertwilson at rhs.org.uk
Sent: Thursday, 14 May 2009 6:56 PM
To: tdwg-tag at lists.tdwg.org
Cc: Lynette.Woodburn at csiro.au
Subject: Re: [tdwg-tag] [BULK] TDWG ontology revisited ... a newcomer's


As one of those not-so-newcomers who has been attending TDWG meetings for
the last few years I feel I should speak out in agreement with Lynette.
Whilst I may understand the general ideas the techno-speak is truly
baffling.  I appreciate that technology is evolving and the TDWG community
is looking for the best way to embrace it but could you not spare a thought
for those organisations like mine who have information they would like to
share but are bewildered by the multitude of ways to do it?  Having limited
development resources the last thing I want my organisation to do is deliver
information using technology "a" which is currently flavour of the moment
only to find in twelve months that we should really be using technology "b"
because that is what everyone else is using.  I feel there is also a divide
here between the research community which can chop and change the way it
handles its data and the more constrained organisations such as mine where
the data is of critical/core use to the organisation and can't be
re-purposed as easily.


Perhaps TDWG would also consider identifying mentors who would be willing to
offer support to those lurking in the back of Aladdin's Cave currently too
scared to come out into the light?


Rupert Wilson


RHS Horticultural Database

Royal Horticultural Society

Wisley, UK.


ceipt or use thereof. 

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