A Semantic Web Example? Nearly a Topic Map?

Morphological and Geographical Traits of the British Odonata by Gary D Powney, el. al.


Trait data are fundamental for many aspects of ecological research, particularly for modeling species response to environmental change. We synthesised information from the literature (mainly field guides) and direct measurements from museum specimens, providing a comprehensive dataset of 26 attributes, covering the 43 resident species of Odonata in Britain. Traits included in this database range from morphological traits (e.g. body length) to attributes based on the distribution of the species (e.g. climatic restriction). We measured 11 morphometric traits from five adult males and five adult females per species. Using digital callipers, these measurements were taken from dry museum specimens, all of which were wild caught individuals. Repeated measures were also taken to estimate measurement error. The trait data are stored in an online repository (https://github.com/BiologicalRecordsCentre/Odonata_traits), alongside R code designed to give an overview of the morphometric data, and to combine the morphometric data to the single value per trait per species data.

A great example of publishing data along with software to manipulate it.

I mention it here because the publisher, Pensoft, references the Semantic Web saying:

The Semantic Web could also be called a “linked Web” because most semantic enhancements are in fact provided through various kinds of links to external resources. The results of these linkages will be visualized in the HTML versions of the published papers through various cross-links within the text and more particularly through the Pensoft Taxon Profile (PTP) (http://ptp.pensoft.eu). PTP is a web-based harvester that automatically links any taxon name mentioned within a text to external sources and creates a dynamic web-page for that taxon. PTP saves readers a great amount of time and effort by gathering for them the relevant information on a taxon from leading biodiversity sources in real time.

A substantial feature of the semantic Web is open data publishing, where not only analysed results, but original datasets can be published as citeable items so that the data authors may receive academic dredit for their efforts. For more information, please visit our detailed Data Publishing Policies and Guidelines for Biodiversity Data.

When you view the article, you will find related resources displayed next to the article. A lot of related resources.

Of course it remains to every reader to assemble data across varying semantics but this is definitely a step in the right direction.


I first saw this in a tweet by S.K. Morgan Ernest.

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