[Taxacom] iSpecies with Wikipedia

faunaplan at aol.com faunaplan at aol.com
Thu Mar 27 11:29:14 CDT 2008

 The important thing, in my mind, is the purpose: data management classification. This makes the difference. It doesn't mean that all must use it for all purposes, but projects like GBIF need it as a basis to manage data (and many non-taxonomist users may also like to have a recommendation). When we want to have alternatives in such 'management classifications', no problem - as long as there are the experts who can provide the translation between the alternatives. The machine cannot work with fragments of alternative classifications that have no translation between each other.
Take an example from GBIF: Ocydromus, ranked as a subgenus of Bembidion in a conservative classification, but as a genus with several subgenera in a (regionally preferred) alternative classification. When I want to see the world overview for Ocydromus, GBIF doesn't know which of the Bembidion species belong to Ocydromus; when I search for Bembidion, GBIF forgets the Ocydromus data. So, only if there are two (or more) well-translated alternative classifications you can switch between alternative views without loss of information. If you cannot find the expert to translate the alternative classification, then you better stay with one (conservative) classification in order to keep the overview.


Wolfgang Lorenz
Faunistics & Environmental Planning
Hoermannstr. 4
D-82327 Tutzing, Germany



-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung----- 
Von: Mary Barkworth <Mary at biology.usu.edu>
An: TAXACOM at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Verschickt: Do., 27. Mrz. 2008, 17:08
Thema: Re: [Taxacom] iSpecies with Wikipedia

I also find myself wondering whetheran algorithm would be any easier to
breach than an authoritarian wall - and how one would explain to a
non-computer person how a classification attained a number one ranking. 

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