I would like to establish a list of ontologies/vocabularies that match the following criteria:

  • they are fully documented, that is, there exists a documentation online that describe the ontology itself and all the terms it defines (provide a link to the documentation);
  • they are used by at least 2 independent datasets (please provide a derefencable link to the datasets as a proof);
  • they are supported by tools (give examples or a link to the tools or to a list of tools);
  • additionally, you can provide a link to a project webpage;
  • you can also give technical details about the ontology, such as the number of classes it define, etc.

Please, I would like you to provide separate answers for each ontology/vocabulary you mention so that people can vote individually for an ontology.

Edit: I put here for convenience direct links to the ontologies given in the answers, in order of appearance.

asked 27 Aug '10, 18:30

Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

Antoine Zimm... ♦
accept rate: 34%

edited 06 Jun '14, 07:34

The Dublin Core (DC) ontology

Description: this is a light weight RDFS vocabulary for describing generic metadata.

Project homepage: http://dublincore.org/

Namespace: http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/ and http://purl.org/dc/terms/

Typical prefix: dc: and dcterm:

Documentation: http://dublincore.org/specifications/

Which datasets use it: DC is ubiquitous in the Linked Data landscape.

Tools supporting it: the Protégé ontology editor provides DC properties as default annotation properties for ontologies and ontological terms. Providing DC annotations is also very common in other Semantic Web editors.

Technicalities: DC is a moderately small ontology divided into 2 vocabularies: DC elements and DC terms. DC elements contain 15 properties. DC terms contain 22 classes and 55 properties. It is not an OWL 2 DL ontology because it does not rely at all on the OWL constructs. This actually makes it a very simple ontology to reason with. Since the terms are weakly constrained, it is often the case that ontologies reusing them are redefining the terms internally instead of importing the DC ontology. This way, it is possible to choose, e.g., whether the properties are AnnotationProperties, etc. without breaking the compatibility with, for instance OWL DL.

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This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 27 Aug '10, 18:33

Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

Antoine Zimm... ♦
accept rate: 34%

This can be used as a model for future answers. Hit edit to copy paste the code.

(27 Aug '10, 18:35) Antoine Zimm... ♦ Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

The Friend Of A Friend (FOAF) ontology

Description: this ontology is used to describe people and social relationship on the Web. It is mostly focused on people's existence in the virtual world, with many properties related to online activity or identity: foaf:mbox, foaf:skypeID, foaf:msnID, foaf:geekcode, etc. Nothing about family relations, physical address... It provides similar information on organisations or groups with a similar focus on their existence on the Web (work place webpage, etc). It is particularly well suited for describing people on Web-based Social platforms (facebook, twitter, blogspot, ...).

Project homepage: http://www.foaf-project.org/

Namespace: http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/

Typical prefix: foaf:

Documentation: http://xmlns.com/foaf/spec/

Which datasets use it: FOAF is used on many different websites. The list would be too long for this page. Notable examples are: Live Journal, etc. Many computer scentists in the Semantic Web field all over the world are publishing their personal FOAF file.

Tools supporting it: FOAF-a-Matic is a Web-based app which allows the user to create a FOAF file quickly by entering natural language text information in a Web form. The Wiki of the FOAF project has a webpage listing many FOAF-related tools.

Technicalities: FOAF is a rather small ontology (19 classes, 44 object properties, 27 datatype properties). It is not an OWL 2 DL ontology because it relies on inverse functional datatype properties. However, appart fron this small issue and minor syntactical issues, the ontology is essentially compatible with OWL 2 RL, which means it is particularly suitable for materialising implicit knowledge about FOAF data in a triple store.

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answered 27 Aug '10, 18:37

Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

Antoine Zimm... ♦
accept rate: 34%

The Music Ontology

Description: this ontology is used to describe information related to the music industry. It does not provide any means to describe in detail the music itself (notes, instruments, rythms, etc) but focus more on releases, live events, albums, artists, tracks that characterise most of the business-related information about music that can be found on the Web.

Project homepage: http://musicontology.com/ (it's just the spec page)

Namespace: http://purl.org/ontology/mo/

Typical prefix: mo: or music:

Documentation: http://musicontology.com/

Which datasets use it: the BBC is using it to describe its musical programmes (http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/j5xm.rdf).

Tools supporting it: DBtune.

Technicalities: The Music Ontology is a moderately large ontology, which imports 3 external ontologies, which in turn import 2 additional ones. In total, the import closure defines 141 classes, 260 object properties, 131 datatype properties and 86 individuals. The atomic ontology itself defines 76 classes, 142 object properties, 34 datatype properties and 14 individuals. It is not properly speaking an OWL DL ontology due to small syntactic problems, but it essentially relies on DL constructs. It is fairly expressive, such that it cannot be treated as part of any of the sublanguages of OWL 2 DL.

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answered 27 Aug '10, 19:13

Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

Antoine Zimm... ♦
accept rate: 34%

Maybe we can also add the wiki of the Music Ontology (http://wiki.musicontology.com/), which consists of several examples, illustrations etc. Furthermore, I think that DBTune is no real tool. It is more a hosting platform for datasets, which make use of the Music Ontology.

(02 Sep '10, 15:52) zazi zazi's gravatar image

Vocabulary of Interlinked Datasets (voiD)

Description: a vocabulary and a set of instructions that enables the discovery and usage of linked datasets.

Project homepage: http://vocab.deri.ie/void

Namespace: http://rdfs.org/ns/void#

Typical prefix: void:

Documentation: http://vocab.deri.ie/void/guide

Which datasets use it: Fairly widely deployed; some examples include:

Tools supporting it:

Technicalities: Lightweight RDFS vocabulary containing 3 classes and 13 properties. voiD vocabulary directly re-uses terms from scovo: and dctypes: namespaces, and recommends use alongside FOAF and DC(Terms) for describing datasets.


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answered 27 Aug '10, 20:21

Signified's gravatar image

Signified ♦
accept rate: 37%

edited 03 Sep '10, 21:49

Maybe we should also mention here that scovo didn't really dereference very well currently :\

(01 Sep '10, 11:20) zazi zazi's gravatar image

Good point about scovo. Don't think it's worth mentioning directly in the voiD answer... your comment is maybe enough ;). Will see about contacting them in pedantic-web (assuming no-one has already).

(01 Sep '10, 18:03) Signified ♦ Signified's gravatar image

Update re tools support: ve2, the voiD editor [1], voX, the Dataset Explorer [2], as well as dedicated voiD stores, from Talis [3] and RKB [4].

[1] http://lab.linkeddata.deri.ie/ve2/ [2] http://lab.linkeddata.deri.ie/vox/ [3] http://kwijibo.talis.com/voiD/ [4] http://void.rkbexplorer.com/

(02 Sep '10, 08:00) Michael Haus... Michael%20Hausenblas's gravatar image

Edited answer to add those tools...

(03 Sep '10, 21:49) Signified ♦ Signified's gravatar image

Semantically Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC) ontology

Description: this ontology is used to describe online communities such as forums, blogs, mailing lists, wikis. It complements FOAF by stressing on the description of the products of those communities (posts, replies, threads, etc).

Project homepage: http://sioc-project.org/

Namespace: http://rdfs.org/sioc/ns#

Typical prefix: sioc:

Documentation: http://rdfs.org/sioc/spec/

Which datasets use it: SIOC is used on many different websites. Notable examples are: identi.ca (http://identi.ca/danbri/foaf) or CC car pictures (http://carpictures.cc/cars/photo/index.rdf). See also a list of (mostly broken) links to sites using SIOC.

Tools supporting it: most notably, Wordpress and Drupal have a module supporting it. There is a page that references many applications using SIOC.

Technicalities: SIOC is a lightweight ontology (17 classes, 61 object properties, 25 datatype properties). It is essentially in OWL 2 DL, with tiny syntactical issues that strictly speaking makes it a non DL ontology. It only relies on OWL 2 RL constructs. There exists other "subvocabularies" for SIOC with domain names http://rdfs.org/sioc/xxxx# but I am not aware whether these ones are used or supported.

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answered 27 Aug '10, 18:52

Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

Antoine Zimm... ♦
accept rate: 34%

edited 01 Sep '10, 17:25


Maybe you should also mention here that sioc is "just" the namespace of the core ontology and that other namespaces are also depending to this vocabulary.

(01 Sep '10, 11:23) zazi zazi's gravatar image

True. However, I only added a remark in the technicalities because the sub-vocabularies may not match the requirements to be in this list.

(01 Sep '10, 17:26) Antoine Zimm... ♦ Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

Good Relations

Description: this ontology is used to describe products sold online. It is especially useful to online stores with a great diversity of products.

Documentation: http://www.heppnetz.de/ontologies/goodrelations/v1

Project homepage: http://purl.org/goodrelations/

Namespace: http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1

Typical prefix: gr:

Which datasets use it: BestBuy.com announced that they are publishing RDF descriptions of their products, using Good Relation ontology. O'Reilly as well, in RDFa (http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596007683). See also a list of examples in the wild.

Tools supporting it: List of applications.

Technicalities: Good Relations is a moderately small ontology (27 classes, 43 object properties, 37 datatype properties and 43 individuals). It is a perfectly valid OWL DL ontology. It is fairly expressive, such that it is not in any of the 3 OWL 2 profiles.

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answered 27 Aug '10, 19:01

Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

Antoine Zimm... ♦
accept rate: 34%

The Provenance Vocabulary

Description: The Provenance Vocabulary enables providers of Linked Data to describe the provenance of their data.

Project homepage: http://purl.org/net/provenance/

Namespace: http://purl.org/net/provenance/ns#

Typical prefix: prv:

Documentation: http://purl.org/net/provenance/ns.html http://purl.org/net/provenance/guide

Which datasets use it: The Provenance Vocabulary is used by many linked datasets. Examples are: the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) dataset (example URI: http://purl.org/net/tcm/tcm.lifescience.ntu.edu.tw/id/gene/MAPT ) or the blog of the Agile Knowledge Engineering and Semantic Web (AKSW) research group at the University of Leipzig (example URI: http://blog.aksw.org/triplify/post/130 )

Tools supporting it: The Linked Data publishing tools Triplify, Pubby, and D2R Server contain metadata extensions that, by default, provides provenance information described using the Provenance Vocabulary.

Technicalities: The Provenance Vocabulary is defined as an OWL 2 DL ontology and it is partitioned in a core ontology and supplementary modules. The core ontology consists of 13 classes, 17 object properties, and 1 datatype property.

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answered 27 Aug '10, 20:20

Olaf%20Hartig's gravatar image

Olaf Hartig
accept rate: 33%

Now superseded by the W3C Provenance ontology.

(06 Jun '14, 07:29) Antoine Zimm... ♦ Antoine%20Zimmermann's gravatar image

Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS)

Description: a W3C standard ontology for describing thesauri, taxonomies, and other controlled vocabularies.

Project homepage: http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/

Namespace: http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core#

Typical prefix: skos:

Documentation: http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/REC-skos-reference-20090818/

Which datasets use it: Library of Congress and New York Times subject headers, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's AGROVOC thesaurus, NASA, IPTC, lots more. See http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/wiki/SKOS/Datasets.

Tools supporting it: TopQuadrant's EVN, PoolParty, SKOSed plugin for Protege,iQvoc, TemaTres

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answered 19 Apr '11, 09:05

bobdc's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

The Linked-Open Vocabularies tool (LOV) provides navigation across ontologies used to describe dataset published on CKAN. - It includes references to other vocabularies - Each vocabulary is used in at least one Dataset - Nothing is said about tool support

Link: http://labs.mondeca.com/dataset/lov/

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answered 18 Apr '11, 13:09

Fran%C3%A7ois%20Scharffe's gravatar image

François Sch...
accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 27 Aug '10, 18:30

question was seen: 7,146 times

last updated: 06 Jun '14, 07:34