[foaf-dev] foaf:Person vs crm:E21.Person

Marco Neumann marco.neumann at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 20:12:06 CEST 2009

Thanks Dan for the elaboration.

In the spirit of the FOAF vocabulary doesn't it go to far to consider an
imaginary person?

If a foaf:Person can be a fictional person not just a historical figure but
a truly imaginary one, I can never be a friend of that person expect in case
of a mental extension to reality not to say a borderline schizophrenic

That said I typically prefer foaf:Person over crm:E21 for web resources
since it's more commonly used. But we might need a companion or extension
for a fictional character.

I think we don't capture imaginary characters as typed entities in the crm
at this point. I need to confirm this though with the SIG.


On Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Dan Brickley <danbri at danbri.org> wrote:

> On 4/6/09 16:59, Marco Neumann wrote:
>> Hi foaf team,
>> I am modeling with an ontology for the cultural and natural heritage
>> domain. We use a class called crm:E21.Person to achieve something
>> similar to what foaf:Person gives us.
>> I am contemplating to make one class a subclass of the other. The crm
>> community prefers to make foaf:Person a subclass of crm:E21.Person. Or
>> should we consider equivalence between the two class?
>> http://www8.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/IMMD8/Services/cidoc_crm/docu/081216/classesE/21.Person.html
> Hey Marco,
> In an idea world, you shouldn't need to ask. Just read the human and formal
> documentation for the two classes, and try to find corner cases that fit in
> one class but not the other. That should give you your answer.
> Here's CRM's E21:
> "This class comprises real persons who live or are assumed to have lived.
> Legendary figures that may have existed, such as Ulysses and King Arthur,
> fall into this class if the documentation refers to them as historical
> figures. In cases where doubt exists as to whether several persons are in
> fact identical, multiple instances can be created and linked to indicate
> their relationship. The CRM does not propose a specific form to support
> reasoning about possible identity. Examples: Tut-Ankh-Amun, Nelson Mandela."
> And here is FOAF's Person:
> via http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/#term_Person
> "The foaf:Person class represents people. Something is a foaf:Person if it
> is a person. We don't nitpic about whether they're alive, dead, real, or
> imaginary. The foaf:Person class is a sub-class of the foaf:Agent class,
> since all people are considered 'agents' in FOAF."
> Pretty much the same approach. FOAF sounds somewhat more liberal though, as
> it admits fictional people. So you could use it for example when describing
> characters in a drama - this was done for example in the SUDS experiments by
> BBC people, modelling Eastenders. See also http://www.r4isstatic.com/?p=18for more discussion.
> Since crm:e21.Person is smaller than foaf:Person, since it doesn't include
> fictional and imaginary people, it would be natural to express that in terms
> of e21 being the sub-class. Of course in your application you might chose to
> insulate yourself from all this and define your own classes directly by
> reference to CRM and FOAF. That's of course fine too!
> cheers,
> Dan
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