TDWG Meeting October 1999

Georgina MacKenzie gmackenzie at YORK.BIOSIS.ORG
Tue Sep 28 13:47:35 CDT 1999

The 1999 annual Taxonomic Databases Working Group
(TDWG) Meeting will be held from 29 - 31 October, at Harvard
University. Please see for registration and
accommodation details.

We aim to clarify some general standards issues for the TDWG
membership, such as the role of standards in interoperability, when
recommendations would be more appropriate, and TDWG's general
role in facilitating the development of standards and
recommendations.  Although some TDWG standards are out of
date or otherwise irrelevant, one area in particular has reached the
level of maturity where a true interchange standard could benefit
the community.  This is in the area of taxon-by-character data, as
used by packages such as DELTA, LucID, PAUP, etc.  We hope
that TDWG can facilitate a dialog between the software developers,
so one of the main goals of this year's meeting is to initiate this
dialog; the sessions on Saturday will emphasise concise
presentations of issues and general discussion.

Another main discussion point will the positioning of TDWG
institutionally. There have been a couple of suggestions that more
support might be available if TDWG became more closely
associated with organisations where standards are seen as an
important part of their objectives. The suggestions have been
CODATA (Frank Bisby), and GBIF (Walter Berendsohn).

Please let either Stan Blum (sblum at or Peter
Stevens (peter.stevens at know of questions relevant to
the two main topics that you think should be addressed, and
whether you are prepared to outline the issues surrounding them.
If you have other topics, want to demonstrate something, or
present a poster, send a title along; Sunday can be scheduled in a
flexible fashion, and we will try to accommodate as many people
as possible.

Friday October 29, afternoon:
     Subgroup meetings, etc.

Friday evening:

Saturday, October 30, morning:
     Standards development and maintenance in general - John
        Rumble, Dave Vieglais, Stan Blum.

Saturday afternoon:
     Taxon x Character data "problem" - Mike Dallwitz (Data
        requirements for natural-language descriptions and
        identification), Kevin Thiele, Gregor Hagedoorn
        (How should original observations be recorded and

Saturday evening:
     Dinner for meeting participants.

Sunday October 31, morning:
     Discussion groups, especially dealing with issues arising from
        Saturday's discussion.
     Posters (e.g. Tony Kirchgessner "The New York Botanical
        Garden's On-line Herbarium Specimen Catalog).
          (e.g. Bryan Heidorn, "Biological Information Browsing
          Kevin Thiele and David Yeates - demonstration of LucID
        version 2 beta).

Sunday afternoon:
     TDWG Business - especially discussion of where TDWG
        should "sit" institutionally.

     (finish at about 4.00 p.m.).

Georgina MacKenzie, Information Systems Manager
BIOSIS UK (Zoological Record)
54 Micklegate, YORK, England, YO1 6WF
Tel: +44 1904 642816  Fax: +44 1904 612793

More information about the Taxacom mailing list