[Taxacom] Occurrence data...

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Fri Feb 18 22:07:08 CST 2011

>The web is like the ocean - lots of great stuff but darn hard to find what you 

but, the aggregators ("acronyms") don't give you what you want (i.e., reliable, 
meaningful data), they just pretend to ...

From: "Walker, Ken" <kwalker at museum.vic.gov.au>
To: Bob Mesibov <mesibov at southcom.com.au>
Cc: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Sat, 19 February, 2011 3:56:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Occurrence data...

On 19/02/2011, at 1:38 PM, "Bob Mesibov" <mesibov at southcom.com.au> wrote:

> 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 

Maybe so Bob. My interest is in transitioning museum-based science into 
information-based science. One is inward looking while the other is outward 
> 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

This always reminds me of fishing. The fish are there but you need the right 
hook and right bait and right local knowledge and the right tide etc to catch a 
feed. Apart from the enjoyment of fishing, you would be far better to get your 
fish at an aggregated fish market.

The web is like the ocean - lots of great stuff but darn hard to find what you 

> (b) not focused on the needs of the user

You should never try to pre-define what the user wants. It that is your aim then 
just develop static fact sheets and that's all the user gets.

> (c) unnecessarily demanding on data generators, in asking that data be 
>structured in particular ways

Agreed -XML or CSV should suffice for most needs.


> --
> 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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