Global Agricultural Concept Space: lightweight semantics for pragmatic interoperability.


Progress on research and innovation in food technology depends increasingly on the use of structured vocabularies - concept schemes, thesauri, and ontologies - for discovering and re-using a diversity of data sources. Here we report on GACS Core, a concept scheme in the larger Global Agricultural Concept Space (GACS), which was formed by mapping between the most frequently used concepts of AGROVOC, CAB Thesaurus, and NAL Thesaurus and serves as a target for mapping near-equivalent concepts from other vocabularies. It provides globally unique identifiers which can be used as keywords in bibliographic databases, tags for web content, for building lightweight facet schemes, and for annotating spreadsheets, databases, and image metadata using synonyms and variant labels in 25 languages. The minimal semantics of GACS allows terms defined with more precision in ontologies, or less precision in controlled vocabularies, to be linked together making it easier to discover and integrate semantically diverse data sources.

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