[tdwg-tag] time and space namespaces in Darwin Core

John Wieczorek tuco at berkeley.edu
Wed Aug 25 00:23:46 CEST 2010

On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 1:57 AM, Peter DeVries <pete.devries at gmail.com>wrote:

> I agree. there are a number of tools that can interpret the geo: standard
> and it is not as if the alternatives are more accurate.
> I never understood why this issue is any different that having people
> standardize on meters.

Everyone except Americans understand meters. And even Americans can type "15
meters in feet" into a Google search and figure out the conversion. ;-)

383 students of our georeferencing workshops to date understand datums
(more, if you count the workshop at Yale this week). Of those, I estimate
realistically that ten of them knew what a datum was before they attended
the workshop. Those same ten are probably the only ones still who would be
able to transform coordinates from one datum to another. Therein lies the
big difference - it isn't easy. Part of not being easy is not having tools.
With existing tools (GIS), you must have expertise that is uncommon among
those who are contributing the data. To me it seems an unreasonable
expectation under current conditions that the not just the average data
contributor, but every data contributor must have the responsibility for
this conversion. The reality is that these many of these people do not have
the human resources to keep up with actual errors in their databases, let
alone prepare data to be more appetizing to developers with a risk of
creating further, undetectable errors.

> The issue of error can be dealt with with the addition of another field.

A field beyond dwc:coordinateUncertaintyInMeters? If so, for what error?

> I think a better solution might be easy-to-use tools that let groups
> convert their records to geo:lat and geo:long before submitting them.

Now you are talking, except that, better than a tool that the contributors
use, a tool that developers use. That way any errors will be systemic,
detectable, and correctable in one place. Don't forget that our best
practices for data quality recommend that we lose nothing of the verbatim
original information.

> - Pete
> On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 10:01 AM, joel sachs <jsachs at csee.umbc.edu> wrote:
>> All,
>> When representing observation records in RDF, there are advantages to
>> using Dublin Core and Geo (http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/wgs84_pos#)
>> namespaces where possible. For example, if we use DC:date, and geo:lat,
>> geo:long, instead of DwC:eventDate, DwC:lat, and DwC:long, then Linked Data
>> browsers can automatically map the records, plot them on a timeline, etc.
>> My question is: What are the disadvantages to doing this? (For example, is
>> this going to break someone's DwC validator?)
>> Thanks -
>> Joel.
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Pete DeVries
> Department of Entomology
> University of Wisconsin - Madison
> 445 Russell Laboratories
> 1630 Linden Drive
> Madison, WI 53706
> GeoSpecies Knowledge Base
> About the GeoSpecies Knowledge Base
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