[Taxacom] global species lists and taxonomy ( was Re: Draft Checklist ...)
nicky.nicolson at gmail.com
Thu Aug 29 08:15:32 CDT 2013
I should have also mentioned that if anybody is interested in working on
this: we've got some permanent developer jobs open at the moment:
On 29 August 2013 13:08, nicky nicolson <nicky.nicolson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks Karen, yes this is what we are working on in botany and mycology -
> we are using the nomenclators (IPNI and IF) to provide the fundamental
> units (names and the objective relationships between them) and then
> supporting multiple overlapping - even contradictory - classifications to
> be built using these same fundamental units. We are storing enough data on
> the relationships which form the taxonomic classifications to do the kind
> of assessments that Fred suggests - e.g. to take into account how recently
> the hypothesis was published, who published it and where (e.g. was it a
> regional treatment or a globally-scoped monograph).
> I did quite a general talk about this at the Natural History Museum in
> London recently, video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynFB6DWCBjcand slides here:
> We've a funded project to rebuild Kew's taxonomic systems in this
> environment, and we are working on incorporating the World Checklist system
> at the moment, although our communications standard is TCS so we should be
> able to import / export data from many different sources.
> PS: I'll be at TDWG along with a few people from the Kew team if anybody
> is interested in having a closer look.
> On 29 August 2013 12:18, Karen Cranston <karen.cranston at gmail.com> wrote:
>> It is not too hard to implement this type of system. Both IPNI and Open
>> Tree of Life are currently implementing a relatively new graph database
>> model (database called neo4j) to load and store multiple hierarchies in
>> same data structure. Then, you can traverse the graph (which contains all
>> of the nodes and edges, and therefore all of the conflict) in various ways
>> in order to summarize / resolve conflicts / find interesting patterns. You
>> could use algorithmic and / or human-curated approaches to annotate or
>> resolve parts of the hierarchy, while still keeping all of the information
>> from the sources. Visualization libraries like d3 make it easy to create
>> images or interactive tools to explore the data in the graph.
>> On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 7:03 AM, Erik Rijkers <er at xs4all.nl> wrote:
>> > On Thu, August 29, 2013 12:31, Fred Schueler wrote:
>> > >
>> > > Maybe we want to take a lesson from the physicists' ideas of infinite
>> > > parallel universes, and program systems where all published
>> > > classifications are represented, but with some sort of combined voting
>> > > or weighting by the recency of publication, and wiki-style comments
>> > > discussion, to show users which classifications are more currently
>> > > approved and used.
>> > >
>> > hear, hear!
>> > IMHO, this is the only possible way to get usefully stable global lists.
>> > It amounts to the realisation that the classification business is
>> > producing opinions (however obnoxious this may sound to
>> > the taxonomist).
>> > So databases should amass these opinions with plenty factual detail but
>> > without implicitly endowing any
>> > classification-opinion with the distinction of being "fact".
>> > It would seem this obvious way of doing taxonomical databases is not too
>> > hard to implement but I have never seen it done ,
>> > or even acknowledged as necessary.
>> > Erikjan Rijkers
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