[Taxacom] HHDB: hemihomonyms

David Patterson dpatterson at eol.org
Mon Jan 18 16:32:08 CST 2010

I am surprised this discussion has not yet included reference to GNA / GNI (globalnames.org).  GNA is conceived as an open environment and semantic environment that can underpin a names-based infrastructure for biology; provide services for nomenclaturalists, taxonomists, and biodiversity informaticians. Being semantic, such an environment has to be designed to meet Wolfgang's requirements.

The dialog has shown that the rapid emergence of an environment to help disambiguate homonyms (and chresonyms) would be useful. Let's see if we can do something about that.

David Patterson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wolfgang Lorenz" <faunaplan at googlemail.com>
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 9:49:06 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] HHDB: hemihomonyms

it's not 250 years too late, it's just the right moment to do things
properly and "make nails with head". The ship has sailed well for 250 years,
so why not renew some sails and make it fit for the electronic media?

First of all, what we do need NOW is the index of ALL available taxonomic
names. In particular, we need ZooBank for zoological names - lion's share of
all taxonomic names! There's a heavy burden of homonyms even within the
zoological domain, as we all know. The Code has the answers what to do with
them. What we need to invent is something that makes homonyms and other
complex nomenclatural situations digestible for the computer. We can do it,
- or wolframalpha will do it for us...;)

In a central index, wouldn't it make sense to have permanent and globally
unique *name strings* for all available names? I imagine, such strings can
be formed in a way that even complex nomenclatural situations are
understandable by computers and humans. Many benefits come to mind from such
a service!

Best wishes,

Wolfgang Lorenz, Tutzing, Germany

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David J Patterson
Senior Taxonomist, EOL
Biodiversity Informatics
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA.

(+) (1) 508 289 7260
dpatterson at mbl.edu

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