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Re: Species Concept Mapping RDF fixes and question, should the species be represented as a class? Class SpeciesConcept => Class Species Cougar

From: Leigh Dodds <leigh.dodds@talis.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 12:19:07 +0000
Message-ID: <f323a4470912150419u2b7658c1yc3b3e15318d69858@mail.gmail.com>
To: Bob Morris <morris.bob@gmail.com>
Cc: Peter DeVries <pete.devries@gmail.com>, public-lod <public-lod@w3.org>, dmozzherin <dmozzherin@gmail.com>
Hi Bob,

2009/12/4 Bob Morris <morris.bob@gmail.com>:
> On Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 10:14 PM, Peter DeVries <pete.devries@gmail.com> wrote:
> ...
> In the end, for ecological observations, it is likely that it will be
> necessary to be able to talk about several species at once; e.g. when
> it is important to determine if there were two particular species
> observed at the same time and place. To me, this alone suggests that
> important applications will need a merged ontology at least as to the
> species (concepts).  There is fair concensus that the number of known
> species is roughly 1.8M---so concepts perhaps 2-3 times that (???).
> Also, it is well and often pointed out that for even simple reasoning,
> one may have to align the species concepts, not the names, to decide
> whether occurrences reported in different data sets are really talking
> about the same kind of thingie---which is why you and TDWG model
> concepts.  So from that I deduce that for interests of people who
> study communities and their interactions, rather than those who study
> taxonomic groups, making a species (concept) be a class instead of (or
> in addition to)  an instance will lead to as many as several millions
> of classes (or several hundreds of million if we find the other 28M
> species before we destroy them all....). So I guess I believe that
> modeling species (concepts) as classes is not scalable.

Isn't this what the TWDG ontology does though?

Looking at the definition of a TaxonConcept [1] I see that its a
defined as a Class. This is confirmed by this example [2] which shows
the concept for Puma concolor as being a sub-class of TaxonConcept,
and the Puma concolor concept is itself a class.

I did some digging around and found that:

* Dbpedia and Uniprot model taxa as instances, as does the RDF data
coming from the Ubio LSID resolver
* The ETHAN ontology, and the TWDG TaxonConcept model (AIUI), both
model taxa as Classes
* Peter's species concept examples use skos:Concepts which are
themselves instances rather than classes.
* OpenCyc uses Collections which seem to be a little of both :)

Obviously there's no right answer here, but just wanted to get some
clarification on your comments.

[1]. http://rs.tdwg.org/ontology/voc/TaxonConcept
[2]. http://code.google.com/p/tdwg-ontology/source/browse/trunk/docs/publishing_taxa/full_example.rdf
[3]. http://spire.umbc.edu/ont/ethan.php



Leigh Dodds
Programme Manager, Talis Platform
Received on Tuesday, 15 December 2009 12:19:36 UTC

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