[Crm-sig] NEW ISSUE: Approximate Dimensions

Robert Sanderson RSanderson at getty.edu
Tue Oct 15 19:13:37 EEST 2019

Dear all,

In recent history, we have added P189 approximates for the practically ubiquitous scenario where we have recorded the approximate “declarative” place of an event, but not the exact “phenomenal” place. P189 allows us to say that the event took place at the phenomenal place, which is then approximated by the declarative place.

  Birth_of_Rob a E67_Birth ;
    p7_took_place_at [
        a E53_Place ;
        rdfs:label “The exact place Rob was born” ;
        p189i_approximated_by [
            a E53_Place ;
            rdfs:label “New Zealand” ;
            // …

This gives us two significant advantages:

  1.  We can have multiple declarative places associated with the single phenomenal place. This allows us to be clear that the event took place in one location, but we have multiple ways to describe that location in our information system.
  2.  If we can be precise (enough) about the phenomenal place (e.g. we have the GPS coordinates from the digital camera that took the photograph), then we do not have a different model … we can simply ascribe those coordinate values to the phenomenal place.

While the E53 Place scope notes do not talk about approximation, there is another class that does … the very next one, E54 Dimension.

An instance of E54 Dimension represents the true quantity, independent from its numerical

approximation, e.g. in inches or in cm.

However, there isn’t a property that allows us to use this same approximation pattern for Dimensions.

The same advantages would apply:

  1.  We can have multiple declarative dimensions (10 inches, 25 centimeters) that approximate the true dimension, rather than implying there are two different dimensions.
  2.  If we do not have this case, because the dimension is measured very accurately and has only a single numerical representation, then we can simply use a single Dimension.

This is also useful for conservation when the same dimension is measured to different degrees of accuracy with different instruments or techniques … there is only a single height (for example) but it is measured with a laser, or by estimation.

Thus I would like to propose the addition of a new property, Pxxx_approximates_dimension, that mirrors P189_approximates, that would be used to associate true dimensions with their approximations.

It would be used in exactly the same way as P189:

painting a Human-Made_Object ;
  has_dimension [
    a Dimension ;
    p2_has_type <aat:height> ;
    pxxxi_dimension_approximated_by [
        a Dimension ;
        p90_has_value 10 ;
        p91_has_unit <aat:inches>

Thank you for your consideration of this issue!  I’m happy to write up a draft scope note for discussion if the general issue is considered to be worthy of inclusion.


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