I’ve been quiet since April, but I’ve also been pretty busy. I have been to one meeting this summer, the 20th International Congress of Arachnology. I gave a talk about the progress on the spider behavior ontology I mentioned a few posts back. The slides are here. I have finished my initial pass for behavior terms in two recent works: Foelix's Biology of Spiders, a standard textbook, and an edited volume, Herberstein's Spider Behaviour. Since returning from the meeting, I've nearly finished a first pass of data cleaning. You can see the raw data here. In the next week or so, I'll put up a little landing page with more explanation and links to the raw data and the results of the cleaning pass. Eventually there should be a CMAP or other visualization and possibly an OWL file.
I say possibly an OWL file because I'm not sure that an ontology will be the final outcome. I may generate a set of terms and turn them into term requests for the NBO/ABO, the Spider Biology Ontology, and others (GO, ChEBI, PATO). It's been clear to me (finally) that the database is where the interesting comparative work will come from and the ontology is just a necessary support for this. It should also be useful as a standardized vocabulary for arachnologists, and there seems to be interest in this, based on the reaction to my talk.