RE: Best practice for a loosely-structured catalog?




This is indeed an issue that came up in the development of DCAT-AP. In
particular, CKAN is quite liberal in what it accepts as "Resource" related
to a Dataset. The discussion was whether you could map CKAN Resource to DCAT
Distribution, and it was clear that such mapping would have unwanted
effects. This is also related to my earlier question on how "similar"
distributions need to be, which led to a statement that they need to be
"informationally equivalent" (


I support your proposed solution to use  dct:relation as a catch-all and to
allow for further specialisation whenever necessary and possible. 




From: <> 
Sent: 08 June 2018 03:38
Subject: Best practice for a loosely-structured catalog?




I've been doing some investigations of some local repositories and
catalogues, and have uncovered that in many cases 'datasets' are 'just a bag
of files'. There is no distinction made between part/whole, distribution
(representation), and other kinds of relationship (e.g. documentation,
schema, supporting documents). So while the precision we are aiming for in
DCAT is clearly valuable in terms of semantics, it is difficult to implement
on these legacy systems. Mostly I see people using the
Dataset-distribution-> relationship for everything . which is clearly
incorrect in many cases. But I doubt if we are unusual in this. 


I'm thinking about how to advise on this, while not actually breaking DCAT. 


If we made dcat:distribution a sub-property of dct:relation 


dcat:distribution rdfs:subPropertyOf dct:relation .


then I think we can have a reasonable recommendation to the simple

We could tell repositories that use the 'just a bag of files' approach to


               :Dataset987 a dcat:Dataset ; 

                              dct:relation <file1> , <file2> , <file3> ,
<file4> , <file5> , <file6> , <file7> . . 


which would not be inconsistent with a later reclassification to 


               :Dataset987 a dcat:Dataset ; 

                              dct:hasPart <file1> , <file2> ; 

                              dcat:distribution <file3> , <file4> ; 

                              dct:conformsTo <file5> ; 

                              dct:requires <file6> ;

dct:references <file7> .  


If this is not all mad, I will add a new use-case - something like 'Mapping
from simple repository model' - as justification, and propose this tiny




Simon J D Cox 

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Received on Friday, 8 June 2018 13:21:27 UTC