Structured Descriptive Data (SDD)

The goal of the SDD standard is to allow capture, transport, caching and archiving of descriptive data (data describing a taxon or specimen), using a platform- and application-independent, international standard. Such a standard is crucial to enabling lossless porting of data between existing and future software platforms including identification, data-mining and analysis tools, and federated databases.

technical specification 2005 standard 2005
Image by Biodiversity Heritage Library

Header section

Title
Structured Descriptive Data (SDD)
Date created
2005-09-16
Status
Current (2005) standard
Category
Technical specification
Permanent IRI
https://www.tdwg.org/standards/116
Abstract
In taxonomy, descriptive data takes a number of very different forms. Natural-language descriptions are semi-structured, semi-formalised descriptions of a taxon (or occasionally of an individual specimen). They may be simple, short and written in plain language (if used for a popular field guide), or long, highly formal and using specialised terminology when used in a taxonomic monograph or other treatment. Dichotomous keys are specialised identification tools comprising fragments of descriptive data arranged in couplets forming a branching tree. Each fragment (lead) comprises a small (occasionally verbose) natural-language description. Raw data descriptions usually comprise repeated measurements of parts of individual specimens, and are the basis from which the more abstracted descriptions in natural language and coded descriptions are derived. Few taxonomists consistently record and archive their raw data in a standardised format. The goal of the SDD standard is to allow capture, transport, caching and archiving of descriptive data in all the forms shown above, using a platform- and application-independent, international standard. Such a standard is crucial to enabling lossless porting of data between existing and future software platforms including identification, data-mining and analysis tools, and federated databases.
Creator
Biological Descriptions Interest Group, Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG)
Bibliographic citation

Hagedorn G, Thiele K, Morris R, Heidorn PB (2005) Structured Descriptive Data (SDD) w3c-xml-schema, Version 1.0. Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) http://www.tdwg.org/standards/116