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RE: Clarification required: BP6 "use HTTP URIs for spatial things"

From: <Simon.Cox@csiro.au>
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2016 00:04:35 +0000
To: <rob@metalinkage.com.au>, <janowicz@ucsb.edu>, <frans.knibbe@geodan.nl>
CC: <jlieberman@tumblingwalls.com>, <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>, <public-sdw-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0a92c1fd0d064aecb616acbf68646801@exch4-mel.nexus.csiro.au>
Rob wrote:


Ø  consider two resources with URIs R1 and R2

Ø

Ø  R1 ns:dateEdited 12/1/2001

Ø

Ø  R2 ns:dateEdited 6/6/2006

Ø

Ø  R1 owl:sameAs R2  then leads to ambiguity regarding the value of the functional property ns:dateEdited

Where R1 and R2 are representations or descriptions of a (real-world) thing, possibly a graph of RDF triples.

However, in a separate part of the thread, Jeremy wrote:


Ø  few people will care to name the representation / graph at all.

In other words, the URIs R1 and R2 are usually not treated with much respect. So it is unlikely that we would be in the business of making sameAs statements about these.

Simon


From: Rob Atkinson [mailto:rob@metalinkage.com.au]
Sent: Saturday, 3 September 2016 8:05 AM
To: janowicz@ucsb.edu; Frans Knibbe <frans.knibbe@geodan.nl>
Cc: Joshua Lieberman <jlieberman@tumblingwalls.com>; Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>; SDW WG Public List <public-sdw-wg@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Clarification required: BP6 "use HTTP URIs for spatial things"


A few things - this is a rich discussion and we have identified several parts (which is probably why the original issue was hard to pin down)

I'm glad we have coaxed one elephant out - the sameAs semantics issue.  For me this is the litmus test whether a URL can be used as a URI for a thing or not.

(and this is where one of the issues about SIRF Jeremy raised comes in - but I dont think we need to worry about specific approach, rather the criteria for whether a URI is a good one for identification purposes.  I think we simply make a strong statement that you dont use a URL as a URI if it is not stable and it does not make sense to use owl:sameAs.
This pretty much rules out any direct URL to a single representation:

consider two resources with URIs R1 and R2

R1 ns:dateEdited 12/1/2001

R2 ns:dateEdited 6/6/2006

R1 owl:sameAs R2  then leads to ambiguity regarding the value of the functional property ns:dateEdited

however

U1 --303--> R1
U2 --303--> R2

can (and should be) represented as
U1 ns:hasRepresentation R1
U2 ns:hasRepresentation R2

U1 owl:sameAS U2
entails
U1 ns:hasRepresentation R1, R2

which doesnt make any stupid statements about the properties. It also allows us to make useful metadata statements about R1, R2 as required.

Whilst this is a general concern, we see issues of identification stability, multiple representations, non-unique naming being significant to spatial data and I think we can and should therefore extend the general DWBP with an example using spatial representations and provide a more concrete best practice.








On Sat, 3 Sep 2016 at 00:40 Krzysztof Janowicz <janowicz@ucsb.edu<mailto:janowicz@ucsb.edu>> wrote:
I am no expert on the matter, but several sources tell me that if <A> <owl:sameAs> <B>, then all statements that can be made about A will also be true for B, and vice versa. It seems that the lighthouse example breaks at that point. For example, in Jeremy's example one of the lighthouse representations has a height of 41 m. It is likely that that statement will be false for the representation of the lighthouse as a ruin.

Can we be sure that if we recommend using owl:sameAs to assert that two resources are really the same thing, everyone and everything is aware of the logical consequences?

This is exactly the key point. If A owl:sameAs B than A and B signify the same entity and thus every *statement* about A is a statement about B. It works well with Jeremy's example. The fact that the ruin no longer is 41m tall is an example of the need for spatiotemporal scoping of predicates not a shortcoming of owl:sameAs. Also, keep in mind that RDF statements have nothing to do with facts or truth; they are just sets of statements. This is were the power of RDF comes from.

Best,
Krzysztof




On 09/02/2016 02:20 AM, Frans Knibbe wrote:

On 1 September 2016 at 23:42, Krzysztof Janowicz <janowicz@ucsb.edu<mailto:janowicz@ucsb.edu>> wrote:

Hi,


So as representations, these are not “owl:sameAs”.


Just for clarification. owl:sameAs is only concerned with the mapping of IRIs to (real world) entities and not 'representations' (leaving aside the fact that everything is a representation in some sense). I.e., it is about 'identity'. To give an extreme example, a URI may refer to the Eddystone Lighthouse which may be classified as /Lighthouse/ in some repository. Another URI established 50 years from now can still refer to this particular (4th) lighthouse and classify it as a /Ruin/. Another 50 years into the future, there may be yet another URI that refers to the fact that at some stage there was a ruin here of the 4th lighthouse called Eddystone while there is nothing physical left of it, and, thus, it is neither classified as /Ruin/ nor /Lighthouse/. In fact, we do not even need to introduce the concept of "real world" here as we can also establish a sameAs relation between two URIs that point to Zeus. Please note that this is different from establish a sameAs link between a particular statue of Zeus in a particular museum and Zeus as the god of thunder. Finally, the purpose of establishing sameAs links is typically data fusion/conflation (no matter whether this is done ad-hoc, manually, or (offline) computationally) .

I am no expert on the matter, but several sources tell me that if <A> <owl:sameAs> <B>, then all statements that can be made about A will also be true for B, and vice versa. It seems that the lighthouse example breaks at that point. For example, in Jeremy's example one of the lighthouse representations has a height of 41 m. It is likely that that statement will be false for the representation of the lighthouse as a ruin.

Can we be sure that if we recommend using owl:sameAs to assert that two resources are really the same thing, everyone and everything is aware of the logical consequences?

Regards,
Frans



Best,
Jano


On 08/31/2016 06:38 AM, Joshua Lieberman wrote:
Jeremy,

So as representations, these are not “owl:sameAs”. We assume that as feature data, each refers to a real world entity, but we don’t assert that this VerticalObstruction is the same individual as this MaritimeNavigationAid. We just are suspecting or asserting that the same real world thing is being discerned in two different ways. Someone may define a lighthouse class as subclassing both, otherwise a slightly specialized relation (e.g. sdwgeo:sameRealWorldEntityAs) would be useful here.

Josh

On Aug 31, 2016, at 8:41 AM, Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com<mailto:jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>> wrote:

> That still leaves a gap in expressing whether two feature data entities represent the same real world entity. Perhaps we need a "sameFeatureAs" predicate to address this.

@josh - can we clarify my understanding please?

In the BP doc §4 "Spatial things, features and geometry" [1] I use a lighthouse example, so I'll continue with that ...

We have one real lighthouse (Eddystone Lighthouse) that is discerned as a different Type by different communities: "VerticalObstruction" and "MaritimeNavigationAid". In ISO 19100 parlance, these are two distinct feature types. The two "Features" might be encoded in GML as follows (forgive any errors in my illustrative example):

<VerticalObstruction gml:id="a">
    <gml:name>Eddystone</gml:name>
    <gml:identifier codeSpace="http://example.com/sar/features/vo/">EDY</gml:identifier<http://example.com/sar/features/vo/%22%3EEDY%3C/gml:identifier>>
    <geometry>
        <gml:Point gml:id="a-p1" srsDimension="2" srsName="EPSG:4326">
            <gml:pos>50.184 -4.268</gml:pos>
        </gml:Point>
    </geometry>
    <height uom="m">41</height>
</VerticalObstruction>

<MaritimeNavigationAid gml:id="b">
    <gml:name>Eddystone Lighthouse</gml:name>
    <gml:identifier codeSpace="http://example.org/maritime/navaid/">2650253</gml:identifier>
    <geo>
        <gml:Point gml:id="b-p1" srsDimension="2" srsName="EPSG:4326">
            <gml:pos>50.2 -4.3</gml:pos>
        </gml:Point>
    </geo>
    <lightCharacteristic>
        ...
    </lightCharacteristic>
</MaritimeNavigationAid>

So we have two Features (which we collectively have agreed are "spatial things"), with identifiers <http://example.com/sar/features/vo/EDY> and <http://example.org/maritime/navaid/2650253>. Respectively, the XML elements that describe these features are identified as "a" and "b" using the @gml:id attribute.

If we are using "indirect identification" then _both_ <http://example.com/sar/features/vo/EDY> and <http://example.org/maritime/navaid/2650253> are treated as identifiers for the _real_ Eddystone Lighthouse; we simply don't care to differentiate between the real world thing and the information record. In which case, <owl:sameAs>  would seem sufficient? The "height" and "lightCharacteristic" properties are both applicable to the real Eddystone Lighthouse. Some judgement would be required to decide which point geometry ("geo" or "geometry" property) is considered "best".

The way I think about it, @gml:id is more like the identifier for a named graph; a container for a set of properties ...

Am I missing something???

Jeremy


[1]: http://w3c.github.io/sdw/bp/#spatial-things-features-and-geometry


On Wed, 31 Aug 2016 at 12:42 Joshua Lieberman <jlieberman@tumblingwalls.com<mailto:jlieberman@tumblingwalls.com>> wrote:
If we are asserting that spatial data on the Web is "always" feature data that represents a real world entity, then yes, we don't have the general Web "is it or isn't it physical" ambiguity and can assume that a feature data identifier also and indirectly identifies the feature. That still leaves a gap in expressing whether two feature data entities represent the same real world entity. Perhaps we need a "sameFeatureAs" predicate to address this.

Josh
Joshua Lieberman, Ph.D.
Principal, Tumbling Walls Consultancy
Tel/Direct: +1 617-431-6431<tel:%2B1%20617-431-6431>
jlieberman@tumblingwalls.com<mailto:jlieberman@tumblingwalls.com>

On Aug 31, 2016, at 07:29, Frans Knibbe <frans.knibbe@geodan.nl<mailto:frans.knibbe@geodan.nl>> wrote:
Hello,

As stated before, I don't think the httpRange-14 problem exists in our domain of discourse. I think (and hope) that confusion can only occur when the things that are described are digital things, or things that can be transmitted over a computer network, like web pages or mail boxes. It seems to me that spatial things are never that type of thing. Therefore there is no reason to take precautions against possible confusion.

That probably means +1.

Greetings,
Frans



On 31 August 2016 at 09:50, Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com<mailto:jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>> wrote:
Thanks Rob & Clemens ...

On Wed, 31 Aug 2016 at 08:30, Clemens Portele <portele@interactive-instruments.de<mailto:portele@interactive-instruments.de>> wrote:
+1


On 30 August 2016 at 10:10:26, Jeremy Tandy (jeremy.tandy@gmail.com<mailto:jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>) wrote:
Hi. It would be good to close this issue out & include our collective recommendation in the BP doc working draft.

PROPOSAL: SDW working group recommends use of "indirect identifiers" for spatial things

... I'll start the voting.

+1

Jeremy

(BTW, to make sense of the PROPOSAL you'll need to read the email thread)

On Fri, 26 Aug 2016 at 10:12 Linda van den Brink <l.vandenbrink@geonovum.nl<mailto:l.vandenbrink@geonovum.nl>> wrote:
So… do we agree we can recommend indirect identifiers, or do we try to fix the issue with getting the correct identifier as Rob describes?

While waiting for this I’ve updated the issue and the text referring to the issue in BP6.

Van: Rob Atkinson [mailto:rob@metalinkage.com.au<mailto:rob@metalinkage.com.au>]
Verzonden: woensdag 24 augustus 2016 13:56
Aan: Jeremy Tandy; Phil Archer; Linda van den Brink; Bill Roberts

CC: SDW WG Public List
Onderwerp: Re: Clarification required: BP6 "use HTTP URIs for spatial things"

Hi

Agree this is a real concern - people cant be blamed for doing the obvious, if dumb, thing..

I think we should take note of best practice in the HTML world - which is often to include a citable link to a resource in the rendered view.  Or a "share" or something similar. We can also put fairly explicit annotation in machine-readable code - stating that the resource is about the URI - and even notes saying when citing this resource use the URI....

I'd also like to see browsers evolve to offer you the original link or the redirected when cutting and pasting - how hard can it be!

Maybe we can get Ed to ask around Google Chrome team for suggestions on how best to handle this :-)

Rob



On Wed, 24 Aug 2016 at 18:27 Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com<mailto:jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>> wrote:
Yes, I think so ... And we should do so if we are recommending "indirect identification".

Jeremy
On Wed, 24 Aug 2016 at 09:24, Phil Archer <phila@w3.org<mailto:phila@w3.org>> wrote:
Bill's comments also made me think about some of the classic arguments,
such as that a lake doesn't have a last updated date and isn't 435KB
big. Which are true, however, that kind of metadata generally comes from
the server, i.e. the HTTP layer. That's an over simplification but the
point is that it is relatively easy to avoid deliberately creating
misleading metadata - metadata about the doc rather than the thing it
describes - and it's also generally easy to avoid looking for that metadata.

Is there scope for some BP advice there?

Phil.

On 24/08/2016 08:25, Jeremy Tandy wrote:
> Thanks Linda. More clear examples where being "correct" (in terms of
> avoiding uri collisions by using two distinct uris) is making things worse
> because users take the wrong one!
>
> So, as a WG, are we content to recommend this "indirect identification"
> pattern where thing & info resource identifiers are conflated?
>
> Bill has added some good points about how to avoid impacts of uri
> collision- by using the (dataset) metadata to talk about licenses and
> creators for the information ...
> On Wed, 24 Aug 2016 at 07:52, Linda van den Brink <l.vandenbrink@geonovum.nl<mailto:l.vandenbrink@geonovum.nl>>
> wrote:
>
>> Experience from the Netherlands: we have the id/doc pattern in our URI
>> strategy, based on the Cool URIs note [8] and the ISA study on persistent
>> identifiers [9].
>>
>>
>>
>> That being said, same as Bill I also notice data users getting confused
>> and generally using the /doc/  URI as that is the one they can copy from
>> their browser address bar. This is not only casual confusion but also ends
>> up in published information resources.
>>
>>
>>
>> You see this, for example, all over the CB-NL which is a vocabulary for
>> the building sector and contains links to other Dutch standards such as
>> IMGeo, an information model and vocabulary for large scale topography. E.g.
>> the CB-NL concept of ‘Gebouw’ (Building) [10]  links to two IMGeo concepts
>> ‘Pand’ (building part) and ‘Overig Bouwwerk’ (other construction) using
>> their /doc/ URIs. If you click on Pand (which doesn’t have its own landing
>> page in CB-NL so I can’t include the link) you will see it includes the
>> /doc/  URI as the identifier of Pand.
>>
>>
>>
>> This is an example where it occurs in vocabularies, but I also see it
>> happen with identifiers for data instances.
>>
>>
>>
>> [8]: https://www.w3.org/TR/cooluris/

>>
>> [9]:
>> https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/sites/default/files/D7.1.3%20-%20Study%20on%20persistent%20URIs_0.pdf

>> 10: http://ont.cbnl.org/cb/def/Gebouw

>>
>>
>>
>> Linda
>>
>>
>>
>> *Van:* Jeremy Tandy [mailto:jeremy.tandy@gmail.com<mailto:jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>]
>> *Verzonden:* dinsdag 23 augustus 2016 20:57
>> *Aan:* Bill Roberts
>> *CC:* SDW WG Public List
>> *Onderwerp:* Re: Clarification required: BP6 "use HTTP URIs for spatial
>> things"
>>
>>
>>
>> Thanks Bill. Sounds very coherent ... I hoped for some responses such as
>> this based on practical experience. Jeremy
>>
>> On Tue, 23 Aug 2016 at 19:41, Bill Roberts <bill@swirrl.com<mailto:bill@swirrl.com>> wrote:
>>
>> ah Jeremy, you are a brave man to poke the sleeping beast of httpRange-14.
>>
>>
>>
>> But I'll get my thoughts in early, then I can tune out of the ensuing mail
>> avalanche :-)
>>
>>
>>
>> When publishing Linked Data about places we (at Swirrl) generally do the
>> id/doc fandango, but to be honest I think data users either don't notice,
>> or they get confused by it.  In the applications we are working with (and I
>> acknowledge that others may have different applications and different
>> experiences), it wouldn't cause any problems to have a single URI, the 'id'
>> URI if you like.  We just don't find a need to say anything about the /doc/
>> URI.  If we were starting again, I'd probably ditch the /doc/ and the 303
>> and rely on context and a little bit of documentation to make it clear what
>> we mean.
>>
>>
>>
>> The place where we find a need to talk about creators and licences and
>> modified dates is in metadata about datasets where a dataset might be a
>> collection of information about a bunch of places - and we treat datasets
>> as an 'information resource'. If someone requests a dataset URI we return a
>> status code of 200 and the dataset metadata as the response.  That metadata
>> includes info on where to get all the contents of the dataset if you want
>> that.
>>
>>
>>
>> By the way, though it's sensible and consistent, I find that the implied
>> and parallel property stuff makes it more rather than less complicated.
>>
>>
>>
>> Bill
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 23 August 2016 at 17:37, Jeremy Tandy <jeremy.tandy@gmail.com<mailto:jeremy.tandy@gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>> All-
>>
>>
>>
>> Linda has done a great job of consolidating the best practices are use of
>> identifiers. We have just one [1] now.
>>
>>
>>
>> Reading though just now, it occurred to me that there's still an open
>> issue about identifier assignment ...
>>
>>
>>
>> W3C's Architecture of the World Wide Web constraint "URIs identify a
>> single resource" [2] asserts "Assign distinct URIs to distinct resources"
>> in order to avoid URI collisions [2a] which "often imposes a cost in
>> communication due to the effort required to resolve ambiguities".
>> Discussions from earlier years in UK Gov Linked Data working group (and
>> elsewhere) concluded that the "real world thing" and "information resource
>> that describes the real world thing" are separate resources. I think this
>> is based on a (purist?) view when working with RDF of needing to be totally
>> clear on "what's the subject" of each triple ... the thing or the document.
>> This manifests as URIs with `id` or `doc` included somewhere to distinguish
>> between the resources and some RDF triples to clarify that the doc resource
>> is talking about the thing resource etc..
>>
>>
>>
>> (dangerously close to "httpRange-14" [3] here ... let's avoid that bear
>> trap)
>>
>>
>>
>> Jeni Tennison's "URLs in Data Primer" draft TAG note captures this
>> practice in §5.3 "Publishing data" [4]:
>>
>>
>>
>> ```
>>
>> Publishers can help enable more accurate merging of data from different
>> sites if they support URLs for each entity
>> <https://www.w3.org/TR/urls-in-data/#dfn-entity> they or other sites may
>> wish to describe, separate from the landing pages
>> <https://www.w3.org/TR/urls-in-data/#dfn-landing-page> or records
>> <https://www.w3.org/TR/urls-in-data/#dfn-record> that they publish.
>>
>> ```
>>
>>
>>
>> Yet Architecture of the World Wide Web §2.2.3 "Indirect identification"
>> [5] notes that:
>>
>>
>>
>> ```
>>
>> To say that the URI "mailto:nadia@example.com<mailto:nadia@example.com>" identifies both an
>> Internet mailbox and Nadia, the person, introduces a URI collision.
>> However, we can use the URI to indirectly identify Nadia. Identifiers are
>> commonly used in this way.
>>
>> ```
>>
>>
>>
>> This is consistent with what I recall TimBL saying at TPAC-2015 in regards
>> to Vcard; come the finish, no one really cares to distinguish between the
>> thing and its associated information resource.
>>
>>
>>
>> ... And in most cases, one can use context to determine whether a
>> statement concerns the thing or the information resource. In those cases
>> where you can't, "URLs in Data Primer" suggests some mechanisms to mitigate
>> such confusion [6][7].
>>
>>
>>
>> I think that in our SDW WG discussion we have concluded that we _are_
>> content to use "indirect identification" - e.g. that we use URIs that
>> conflate the thing and document resource.
>>
>>
>>
>> Please can we confirm this? Assuming that indirect identification is
>>
Received on Monday, 5 September 2016 00:05:47 UTC

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