[Taxacom] TDWG specimen RDF and browser project

Kevin Richards RichardsK at landcareresearch.co.nz
Mon Nov 5 14:31:05 CST 2007


A new tool has been developed for searching, harvesting and browsing RDF and XML data within the TDWG domain.
 
Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG: http://www.tdwg.org) recognised the urgent need to apply semantic web technologies to sharing biodiversity data.  The endorsement of LSID (Life Science Identifiers)  for use within the TDWG domain and associated development of RDF metadata has  introduced semantic web protocols.  
 
This project was accomplished with funding from the TDWG Infrastructure Project (www.tdwg.org/activities/tip), funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (http://www.moore.org).

The tool was developed in parallel with an LSID resolver for specimen-related data.  The Herb IMI specimen database was used for the specimen records, which is closely related to the index of Fungi names, IndexFungorum (http://www.indexfungorum.org).  Herb IMI contains nearly 400000 specimen records including location data, and is currently hosted by CABI in the UK.
 
The tool's data sources are configurable and the protocols available include TDWG's TAPIR, OAI-PMH and LSID resolution. Multiple data sources can be configured using various protocols, then queried, harvested and stored in a local RDF-triple store cache. Semantic web inferences can then be derived from the cached RDF.
 
The VB.NET code and documentation is located at the source forge project site, http://sourceforge.net/projects/tdwgrdfbrowser/. The code re-uses the TapirDotNET and LSIDDotNET Source Forge projects. An installation file allows for easy installation.  
 
The Herb IMI LSID resolver is set up at http://lsid.herbimi.info/authority/ - for example urn:lsid:herbimi.info:specimens:100069. The TAPIR provider (including a subset of the OAI-PMH protocol) is set up at http://lsid.herbimi.info/tapirdotnet/tapir.aspx.

Any feedback is very welcome.


Kevin Richards
Landcare Research
New Zealand


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