ITIS (an explanation of GBIF's data integration activities)

Roger roger at HYAM.NET
Thu Jun 24 05:33:01 CDT 2004

I have been thinking about this for some time.... What I say applies mainly
to the botanical world as that is what I am used to. I have spent a few
years in commercial IT and have experience dealing with IT departments in
large organisations.

I believe what we need, in botany, is the equivelent of a central 'meta'
directory of names. This directory would store all published names ( could
be based on IPNI as a starting point ) and opinions about those names. No
data would be discarded. Interfaces (through SOAP or simple http calls)
would be provided for other databases to reflect their opinions on the
names, give an indication of what other data they carry on these names and
provide a link to the data. Anyone at any time would be able to log in and
provide a comment on a name or submit a new one. There would be no
moderation only abuse control. The whole dataset would be served over the
net and would be available as a download or snail-mailed CD-ROM on a monthly
snapshot basis. There will be news feeds and watch lists so you can be
notified of new entries in the categories you are working on.

Give me a year and I will write the whole system. I will have a demo version
up and running within 6 months. The code will be opensource along with the
data. At a pinch I could do it for 50k pounds sterling (< $100k) including
the hardware and hosting. Of course I would also need people like IPNI and
ING to release their data to the community ....

The one thing we must not do is employ a load of computer scientists and
project managers to do anything like this. The projects will spiral out of
control getting massive feature creap and take years to produce anything!


More information about the Taxacom mailing list