[Taxacom] Serious questions about taxonomy/ontology

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Sep 10 18:20:31 CDT 2010

maybe it is just me, but given all the published literature on O. soledadinus 
(an "invasive species", by the way) which GBIF fails to mention, including 
literature on its presence on South Georgia, I REALLY fail to see that GBIF is 
giving us anything nontrivial here??? Just 4 random records, all from South 
Georgia - what use is that supposed to be to anybody??

From: Wolfgang Lorenz <faunaplan at googlemail.com>
To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
Cc: Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>; TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Sat, 11 September, 2010 12:27:17 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Serious questions about taxonomy/ontology

one thing that we can learn (if we want) is: help each other and join efforts.

An example:
Some days ago, Stephen Thorpe pointed to a wikispecies page that is really 
"fleshed out", WOW!:

What is missing there is a link to 4 good occurrence records accessible through 
GBIF, e.g.: 


... and help GBIF to get out of one of many data processing pitfalls:
When searching on "Oopterus", GBIF informs us "no georeferenced records 
currently available for Oopterus". The reason: they have discarded the South 
Georgia Island records because the co-ordinates fall outside the specified 
country "United Kingdom" ... :(



Wolfgang Lorenz, Tutzing, Germany

2010/9/9 Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>

To be fair, I don't think that the TaxonomistBio is supposed to learn anything
>or get anything out of the KM enterprise, only the TaxonomistBioEndUser is
>supposed to. I guess the idea is that although the TaxonomistBio may have no
>interest in anything beyond their limited scope of expertise (=taxonomic group)
> (of which they know, for argument's sake, everything already), they should
>perhaps be interested in making their knowledge accessible to the end users in
>an integrated way, and that's what KM people try to facilitate. However, I 
>see that KM has achieved much to date, or is likely to if it follows current
>methods ...
>From: Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
>To: Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz>
>Cc: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>Sent: Thu, 9 September, 2010 12:44:30 PM
>Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Serious questions about taxonomy/ontology
>Hi, Stephen.
>It isn't gibberish in the knowledge-management world, where a 'taxonomist' 
>what you and I think it is. Let's call the two TaxonomistsKM and TaxonomistBio
>What I'm keen to know is whether anyone with experience in this area (Rod page
>types?) sees a connection between how TaxonomistsKM work and how TaxonomistsBio
>do, and whether as TaxonomistsBio we can learn anything from TaxonomistsKM.
>At the moment, the only connection I see is in how we deal with the *outputs* 
>taxonomy, i.e. publish them as straight text or as semantically marked-up
>documents with hidden RDF or other tags. No feedback to how we come up with
>those outputs, yet. But maybe I haven't penetrated the gibberish deeply enough
>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/?articleID=570
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