M5.15 Taxonomic core components available for platform

The original EDIT platform for cybertaxonomy as planned in the initial description of work was designed as a set of loosely coupled independent biodiversity informatics applications communicating via well defined interfaces. This architecture has dramatically changed during the first project year towards a set of applications being built around a common data model (CDM) which is the basis for data processing in the entire platform (http://dev.e-taxonomy.eu/trac/wiki/CommonDataModel#CDMVersion1.0). This decision changed also the design of the “taxonomic core components” from an autonomous application and database system for capturing and maintaining taxonomic core data (names, taxa, synonymies, etc.) into an integrated part of the CDM-based platform.

The taxonomic core components are now available as part of the CDM offering a comprehensive data model for representing the following items:

  • taxonomic names according different nomenclatural standards
  • name relations
  • taxonomic synonymies
  • groupings of synonyms (heterotypic, homotypic)
  • concept relations and misapplied names
  • taxonomic hierarchies
  • descriptions
  • distribution

The core data store is accompanied with advanced editor software based on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (http://dev.e-taxonomy.eu/trac/wiki/TaxonomicEditor). User interface and workflow requirements have been defined based on experiences with existing projects (e.g. several Berlin-Model based projects), email and personal discussions with the WP6 exemplar groups as well as an expert workshop dedicated to the design of taxonomic editing systems supporting concept processing (http://cybertaxonomy.eu/blog/node/97).

The editor prototype has been made available in July 2008. Version 1 is to be made available by end of September 2008. Both prototype and Version 1 are equipped with an h2 database engine (http://www.h2database.com/) containing an instance of the core platform component data structures needed for taxonomic editing.