[uf-discuss] species microformats & OpenSearch

Shorthouse, David dps1 at ualberta.ca
Tue Dec 5 23:14:41 PST 2006


I am a relative newcomer to microformats and come with a biological sciences
background so am most interested in the "species" microformat group of
discussions (http://microformats.org/wiki/species).

Rod Page and I with contributions from Charles Roper have been having an
interesting discussion about OpenSearch on his iSpecies
(http://darwin.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/ispecies/) blog
(http://ispecies.blogspot.com/) as it relates to The Nearctic Spider
Database's use of some software called Zoom Search. Of particular concern to
me is:

1) using correct & appropriate nomenclature and,
2) providing a means to aggregate the sorts of species pages produced as
exemplified by The Nearctic Spider Database

To that end, I now make use of uBio LSIDs & marked-up species pages with:

<h1><span class="species urn:lsid:ubio.org:namebank:2029133">Theridion
agrifoliae</span> Levi, 1957</h1>

.in the hopes that uBio's and other LSIDs will eventually contribute to the
semantic web in a taxonomically intelligent way. This in my opinion is the
way to go with microformats. I simply cannot comprehend how something like:

<h1><span class="species">Theridion agrifoliae</span> Levi, 1957</h1>

.could ever contribute to the semantic web in a meaningful way & will stand
the test of taxonomic revisions (i.e how do the current species microformats
deal with synonyms, homonyms, and other recognized nomenclature?).

Finally, what steps have been taken to aggregate or make use of species
microformats and can OpenSearch play some sort of role here in taking the
next step?

David P. Shorthouse
Department of Biological Sciences
CW-403, Biological Sciences Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB   T6G 2E9
Phone: 1-780-492-3080
mailto:dps1 at ualberta.ca

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