[Taxacom] Read... and believe...

Peter DeVries pete.devries at gmail.com
Sat Sep 5 07:26:32 CDT 2009

Roger is correct in that we need to better document what the specimen
identifier meantwhen they assigned a name.

This is why we need something like TaxonConceptID in the Darwin Core,

and species entity descriptions that are implemented as Linked Data.

Here is an example for the species currently known as Puma concolor.


Here it how the document looks via the Semantic Web Linked Data


Note: This supports DNA barcodes as well as traditional characters.

- Pete

On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 12:23 PM, Jim Croft <jim.croft at gmail.com> wrote:

> you can weep if you like:
> a blog post by Roger Hyam: http://www.hyam.net/blog/archives/598
> For example:
> " 1. Names are not reliable pointers to taxa. If a specimen is named
> but the taxonomic classification used in the naming is not specified
> then it can’t be know which taxon (of the multiple possible taxon
> concepts for that name) it has been identified to. See Taxa, Taxon
> Names and Globally Unique Identifiers in Perspective.
> 2. Descriptions require human interpretation. As described above, the
> use of exemplar specimens combined with descriptions means that
> identifications will vary between experts.
> 3. Relationships between descriptions are vague. The same name may be
> used for several separately defined taxa. The descriptions of these
> taxa may use the same or different morphological characteristics. Some
> descriptions will omit characteristics used in other descriptions that
> are ostensibly about of the same taxon. It is therefore not possible
> to say whether the two description overlap, are equivalents or do not
> intersect at all."
> etc...
> jim
> --
> _________________
> Jim Croft ~ jim.croft at gmail.com ~ +61-2-62509499 ~
> http://www.google.com/profiles/jim.croft
> ... in pursuit of the meaning of leaf ...
> ... 'All is leaf' ('Alles ist Blatt') - Goethe
> _______________________________________________
> Taxacom Mailing List
> Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
> The Taxacom archive going back to 1992 may be searched with either of these
> methods:
> (1) http://taxacom.markmail.org
> Or (2) a Google search specified as:  site:
> mailman.nhm.ku.edu/pipermail/taxacom  your search terms here

Pete DeVries
Department of Entomology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
445 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

More information about the Taxacom mailing list