It is impossible to predict the means by which people will be contacted: from mail and telephones to email and VoIP. Some contact details are related to physical locations, like an office’s postal address and fax number, while others are not, like a person’s mobile number and email address. To support the widest variety of mediums in the widest range of contexts, the Contact detail class should allow user-defined contact details.
A civil society organization has the phone number of a legislator; however, it doesn't know whether it is the capitol office number, the constituency office number or a mobile number. A suitable specification should be able to handle data at varying levels of precision.
The Contact detail class should have properties for:
e.g. “Hill address” or “Mobile number”.
type of medium
e.g. “address” or “cell”.
e.g. a postal address, mobile number, email address, contact form, etc.
e.g. for grouping contact details by physical location.
the date from which the contact detail is valid
A member of parliament is changing address as of next month.
the date from which the contact detail is no longer valid
Three years ago, an MP’s office shared an address with a business whose owner the MP presently claims not to know.
The survey of existing specifications found that RFC 6350 (vCard 4.0), with its RDF mappings, is the only vocabulary to meet all requirements. Few specification allow for the ad hoc definition of contact details. Ultimately, only the data model – consisting of RDF, RDF Schema, and SKOS terms – was reused.
||A means of contacting an entity|
||A human-readable label for the contact detail|
|type of medium||
||A type of medium, e.g. "fax" or "email"|
||A value, e.g. a phone number or email address|
||A note, e.g. for grouping contact details by physical location|
||The date from which the contact detail is valid|
||The date from which the contact detail is no longer valid|
1. The vCard Ontology uses
rdf:type to indicate the type of address or telephone number.
Implementations may use values from outside the following lists.
||A postal address|
|An email address|
||A URL to a contact form, etc.|
The following is a copy of RFC 6350 (vCard 4.0)’s code list.
||A telephone number primarily supporting text messages (SMS)|
||A voice telephone number|
||A facsimile telephone number|
||A mobile telephone number|
||A video conferencing telephone number|
||A paging device telephone number|
||A telecommunication device for people with hearing or speech difficulties|