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Dear Rolf, all
yesterday one topic came up in my mind after Maggies question about the
genesis of PIDs for instruments starting at a manufacturer and ending in
a sequence of temporary owners/users of the instrument: what about
instrument models or series?
This would not solve the chaos induced by a sequence of temporary
owners, but it would give the manufacturers at the very beginning a more
feasible approach to deal with instrument identification from my point
of view. This would help in the adoption process at the manufactures side.
Also this way one would be able to identify classes of instruments with
similar behaviour, but also to allow manufacturers to describe a model
or series of instruments in a more precise way. This could be done
possibly in a similar way as with the instruments itsself and should
lead to identification of the model or series by an identifier. One
could get access to documentation, firmware releases and default
calibrations in a standardized way via the Identifier of the individual
instrument, which would open a wide range of automated search and
exploration possibilities with mayor impact.
The current possible properties in the schema would be InstrumentType
and RelatedIdentifier, but those are not specific enough for this goal.
InstrumentType could also be ‘microscope’ or ‘seismic station’ and
RelatedIdentifier could refer to a project or the manufacturer or
whatever. One would not get the needed information by often misleading
My suggestion would be to introduce an additional property ‘model’ that
describes the model or series of an instrument, in free text the model
or series number given by the manufacturer and optional a PID referring
to the model, also given by the manufacturer.
This field, so at least the model or series number, should be mandatory,
because the vast mayority of instruments are made by industrial serial
processes and have such a series number. All others are probably build
out of industrially produced sensors, where again the model or series
plays a role.
And also I would suggest to change a bit the descriptions of the
properties in the given metadata schema to allow manufacturers to use
the same schema for models or series.
What do you think?