Existing Vocabularies#

Many vocabularies (i.e., collections of terms identified with URLs) already exist. For example, the following table lists some existing vocabularies that may be helpful in modeling your data:



gist (from Semantic Arts)

An upper-ontology (i.e., a generic vocabulary, intended for use across a broad range of applications), related to business/enterprise information (such as organizations, places and addresses, date/time, products and services, etc.). For example:

  • gist:Account

  • gist:PostalAddress

  • gist:Transaction

  • gist:startDateTime

where gist: is the recommended prefix for https://ontologies.semanticarts.com/gist/.


A W3C standard. For recording general provenance information, such as when an event or an action took place, who executed the action, where the action took place, etc. Such provenance information can form the basis for auditing any event or action, and for tracking the progression of that event of action throughout an entire distributed eco-system. For example:

  • prov_o:wasAttributedTo

  • prov_o:actedOnBehalfOf

  • prov_o:wasStartedBy

where prov_o: is the recommended prefix for http://www.w3.org/ns/prov#.

XML Schema (XSD)

A W3C standard. For all the common programming language data types, such as Integers, Floats, Strings, Dates, etc. For example:

  • xsd:dateTime

  • xsd:double

where xsd: is the recommended prefix for <http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#>.

The following shows sample triples (in Turtle format) that specify the datatypes of the values:

   gist:startDateTime "2002-05-30T09:30:10Z"^^xsd:dateTime.
 gist:_day a gist:DurationUnit ;
    skos:definition "A duration unit that is 24 hours long." ;
    gist:hasBaseUnit gist:_second ;
    gist:conversionFactor "8.64e+04"^^xsd:double .

QUDT for Quantity Kinds, Units of Measure, Dimensions and Data Types

For data types more specific than those provided by XML Schema. Comprises a number of related vocabularies, including a “Units” vocabulary for concepts like “kilometers per hour” or “square meter”. For example:

  • qudt:Unit

  • unit:KiloM-PER-HR

  • unit:M2


  • qudt: is the recommended prefix for <http://qudt.org/schema/qudt/>, and

  • unit is the recommended prefix for <http://qudt.org/2.1/vocab/unit>.

The following shows sample triples (in Turtle format) that specify the units (kilometers-per-hour and square meters, respectively) of the values:

myPod:myCar carVocab:topSpeed "300"^^unit:KiloM-PER-HR .

myPod:myHouse houseVocab:floorSpace "3000"^^unit:M2 .

Solid Terms (W3C draft standard)

Defines Solid-specific terms. For example:

  • solid:oidcIssuer

  • solid:storgeQuota

where solid: is the recommended prefix for <https://www.w3.org/ns/solid/terms#>.

The following shows sample triples (in Turtle format) that uses Solid specific terms in the predicates:

myWebId: solid:oidcIssuer <https://login.inrupt.com> .
podProvider:newPodConfig solid:storgeQuota "10"^^unit:GigaBYTE .

Data Privacy Vocabulary (DPV)

Related to the use and processing of personal data based on legislative requirements. For instance, DPV defines a number of hierarchically organized Purposes that can be used to formally denote the purpose for which a party is requesting access to an individual user’s data. For example:

  • dpv:GovernmentalOrganisation

  • dpv:Consumer

  • dpv:AcademicResearch

where dpv: is the recommended prefix for https://w3id.org/dpv#.

Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL)

Related to permissions, duties, and prohibitions on the use of content and services. The vocabulary can be used for formally stipulating policies when users are sharing their data. For example:

  • odrl:Policy

  • odrl:permissions

  • odrl:consentingParty

where odrl: is the recommended prefix for http://www.w3.org/ns/odrl/2/.

Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS)

Defines hierarchical structures such as thesauri, or taxonomies (such as product catalogs, where, for example, a ‘Couch’ might come under ‘Furniture’, that in turn comes under ‘Home’ in a department store’s catalog of products). For example:

  • skos:narrower

  • skos:broader

  • skos:definition

  • skos:prefLabel

where skos: is the recommended prefix for http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core#.

Additional Information#