[Taxacom] Occurrence data...

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Feb 18 21:02:10 CST 2011

I am not quite fully in agreement with MesiBob on this, as I think that data 
aggregation/integration is worthwhile, but:

(1) there are too many independent(ish) initiatives all doing the same thing (or 
nearly the same), and it has become a self-serving industry parasitic on the 
backs of taxonomists;

(2) they are going about it in an odd way, creating more complexity (e.g., 
multiple LSIDs) than they are resolving;

(3) the error rate is too high, and "validation" hasn't really got off the 
ground (and it is difficult to envisage how it could);

(4) where there is data, there is a rush to aggregate it without much thought 
about data quality, utility or purpose ...


From: Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
To: "Walker, Ken" <kwalker at museum.vic.gov.au>
Cc: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Sat, 19 February, 2011 3:36:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Occurrence data...

Ken, your interest in seeing value in museums and taxonomists and what they do 
is getting in the way of your understanding the value or otherwise of 
biodiversity data aggregators. They are 3 different entities doing 3 different 

Please read the rest of my post(s) to see whether you agree (or not) with my 
arguments that data aggregation is

(a) largely unnecessary in a world where the information can simply be put up on 
the Web, and found with general or purpose-built tools
(b) not focused on the needs of the user
(c) unnecessarily demanding on data generators, in asking that data be 
structured in particular ways
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
Ph: (03) 64371195; 61 3 64371195
Webpage: http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/?articleID=570


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