Here are excerpts:
There has been a lot of interest and I have gotten great feedback on the post about the book I’m writing with Grant about legislative data. [...] Among the questions on data standards that have sparked interest is the question of how to assign unique identifiers to legal text. These are needed for many reasons, in a variety of contexts. The most straightforward is to be able to hyperlink to a specific subsection of a bill or law.
Some options for creating the unique identifier include:
- A unique randomish code (e.g. based on the current datetime)
- A hash of the text of the section
- A URN or URL identifier based on a standard, human-readable path to the section (e.g. us/uscode/title26/section100)
- Some combination of the above
Rather than get ahead of myself and draft out the entire chapter on unique identifiers, I’ll stop here and invite your comments.
- What is important to preserve in a unique identifier for legal texts?
- What id schemes have proven successful in other document-based structures?
- What would Google (or Linus Torvalds) do?
If you have Insights or connections to People With Insights– please comment here or let me or Grant know.
For more details, please see the complete post.