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Bioschemas.org to define biodiversity-related markup

From: Franck Michel <franck.michel@cnrs.fr>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 16:17:21 +0100
To: public-bioschemas@w3.org
Message-ID: <1d90f2db-253e-fbd9-c9e0-b36dc2aea3b6@cnrs.fr>
Dear all,

I've just joined the Bioschemas.org community following some discussions 
I had with Alasdair Gray whom I met at ISWC in Vienna, and I'd like to 
start a new discussion thread.

So, just to start, a few words about me. I'm a CNRS research engineer, I 
work at the I3S laboratory in France, in particular with the Wimmics 
research team led by Fabien Gandon. I'm currently involved in some 
activities related to the publication of taxonomic information as Linked 
Data [1]. In this context, I've met the Biodiversity Information 
Standards community (TDWG) that is increasingly considering SW 
standards, LD publication and web pages markup. This is a domain where, 
I think, it would be relevant for Bioschemas.orgto get involved.

There exist lots of web portals reporting observations, traits and other 
data about all sorts of living organisms. Encyclopedia of Life 
<http://eol.org/> (EoL) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility 
<https://www.gbif.org/> (GBIF) are some of the most well known. Markup 
questions are actively considered in this field, for instance EoL web 
pages embed schemas.org-based JSON-LD descriptions that Google leverages 
to enrich their snippets: e.g. if you google beluga 
you shall see 'Encyclopedia of Life' mentions in the snippet providing 
average weight and size data. For now, this seems to be an "individual" 
initiative between EoL and Google/schemas.org, but it would make sense 
if this was part of a broader reflection led by Bioschemas.org.

My opinion is that fostering the use of common markup by these portals 
could be very effective in helping the biodiversity community to 
discover information and figure out new data integration 
scenarios.Within Bioschemas.org, we could define profiles to account for 
biodiversity-related information.Taxonomic registers are used as the 
backbone of many web portals, apps and databases related to 
biodiversity, agronomy and agriculture.For instance, EoL and GBIF both 
rely on the Catalog of Life <http://www.catalogueoflife.org/> taxonomy. 
Therefore, we could start with the definition of a profile to describe a 
taxon and the related scientific and vernacular names thereof. Then, 
this could be extended with the representation of traits 
(characteristics of biological organisms), observations, occurrence 
data, conservation status (e.g. endangered) etc. There already exist 
vocabularies for such data such as the well-adopted Darwin Core terms.

As a quick example, consider the web page describing the common dolphin 
on the web site of the french Museum of Natural History: 
https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/60878?lg=en. This page could come 
with a JSON-LD desciption looking like this: 
This example is naive and very succinct, and there are lots of things to 
discuss and decide. Besides, I've just registered on the mailing 
yesterday, so it may not fit with good practices that you guys have 
already agreed upon. Sorry if this is the case. Nevertheless, my point 
is basically to bootstrap the discussion and see if the community is 
willing to endorse this initiative. If this is the case, we should 
probably involve people from the biodiversity community: Darwin Core 
experts, EoL/GBIF representatives etc. But that will come in time.

I look forward to further discussions.

[1] Michel F., Gargominy O., Tercerie S. & Faron-Zucker C. (2017). A 
Model to Represent Nomenclatural and Taxonomic Information as Linked 
Data. Application to the French Taxonomic Register, TAXREF. In 
Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Semantics for 
Biodiversity (S4BioDiv) co-located with ISWC 2017 vol. 1933. Vienna, 
Austria. CEUR.

CNRS research engineer
	+33 (0)492 96 5004
franck.michel@cnrs.fr <mailto:franck.michel@cnrs.fr>


Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, *Inria* - I3S - UMR 7271
930 route des Colles - Bât. Les Templiers
BP 145 - 06903 Sophia Antipolis CEDEX - France
Tel. +33 (0)4 9294 2680, Fax : +33 (0)4 9294 2898
Received on Friday, 10 November 2017 15:17:47 UTC

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