[Taxacom] A romp through an aggregator

Kevin Richards RichardsK at landcareresearch.co.nz
Tue May 25 18:14:48 CDT 2010

Not sure why all these efforts have to be so competing?  There are obvious benefits of both approaches...

We need a way to make these efforts work together, and I suspect that the answer may be a faster feedback loop, from data source, to aggregator (s) back to data source.  One of the best ways to pick up errors/issues is to aggregate the data (including wikis) (top of the top down), then the best way to fix it is to provide feedback to the data provider (bottom of the bottom up), so they can either fix the issue, or improve the data flow into the aggregators.


Data provider  ->  regional aggregator  -> global aggregator / wikis
    ^                                               |
    |                                               v
 Feedback  <-  data use / issue spotting  <-  portal (eg EoL)

Of course "data use" could happen at any point in this cycle, but I don't think that the "quality" of the data at any point should make any part of the cycle "better" than the other part??  Just indicate that some pert of the cycle needs improving/updating/etc, no??


-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Bob Mesibov
Sent: Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:20 a.m.
To: David Remsen (GBIF)
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] A romp through an aggregator


I'll be out of contact for a few days but will try to respond quickly. I think two things are being confused here. First, we have people who want my (or anyone's) data, and we'd like an efficient way for those people to get the data. Second, we have projects which are aspiring (I won't say claiming) to be the best possible in-between data brokers. It should be obvious that I don't have much time for the project approach. The first matter is different, because it goes to the heart of what Stephen Thorpe was asking: who wants what data, and why? There's flexibility implied there that isn't possible with pre-structured data. Sets of names linked to sets of specimens are not the whole story, because the names and IDs are works-in-progress, and because beyond taxonomic and specimen data there really is a lot more to biodiversity that cannot be easily structured with a data mark-up protocol. If the only biodiversity information available is the kind that can be served between databases, then we don't need taxonomists (or biologists, for that matter). The most efficient way to link answer-seeker and answer-supplier is with a phone number, an email address or an online forum. The next most efficient way is with bottom-up resources, including the wiki-style builds that Jason Mate prefers. The aspiring middlemen just aren't up to the job. They literally don't know what they're handling.
Dr Robert Mesibov
Honorary Research Associate
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and
School of Zoology, University of Tasmania
Home contact: PO Box 101, Penguin, Tasmania, Australia 7316
03 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Webpage: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/mesibov.html


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