FOCUS ON LANDPORTAL AND LANDVOC - LINKED OPEN DATA THESAURUS USED IN THE LAND SECTOR
The Land Portal was set up in 2009 as a partnership project to support the efforts of the rural poor to gain equitable access to information resources on land and to secure land rights. Serving as a leading online knowledge broker for information related to land issues, and in accordance with its vision, values and theory of change, the Land Portal is advocating the adoption of cutting-age linked open data (LOD) technologies and standards in the land sector, thus contributing to the development of a more inclusive land governance information ecosystem.
As part of GODAN Action, the Land Portal recently conducted a scoping study on the use of topical standards in the land sector, which came to the surprising conclusion that knowledge and use of standards in the land sector is limited to non-existent. Many organizations have no classification scheme whatsoever for the content they upload to their websites, and none of the organizations were found to use any type of standard related to land.
The Land Portal is addressing this enormous gap by establishing an open LandVoc - the Linked land governance thesaurus, which is primarily derived from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s (FAO) AGROVOC standard vocabulary for agriculture. In particular, LandVoc is a list of 270 land-related concepts, built as a separate scheme on the backbone of AGROVOC. In this way, LandVoc not only uses AGROVOC stable URIs to describe its land-specific terminology identities (i.e. terms and concepts), but also is automatically connected through these URIs with the new Global Agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS).
Taking into account the fact that the AGROVOC thesaurus is a global controlled vocabulary, the Land Portal asks its local partners to review the LandVoc list of identities and to add synonyms to existing concepts to better reflect the local usage of terms in multiple languages, thus transforming LandVoc into a product that can be used by the land sector at global level.
Recognizing that land can be a controversial subject, the Land Portal is establishing an informal working group of land experts from various backgrounds, languages and regions of the world to review and confirm additions and changes to the LandVoc vocabulary. LandVoc is a dynamic system that will continue evolving by incorporating new and changing existing concepts related to land.
The Land Portal has greatly appreciated collaborating with the FAO-AGROVOC-team to extend the coverage of AGROVOC in the domain of land governance and tenure, as well as with the GACS - Global Agricultural Concept Scheme consortium, to develop the LandVoc thesaurus. Thanks to the collaborative efforts, the LandVoc should not “re-invent the wheel” by creating yet another new standard, but rather is filling a gap in the land knowledge sector.
Being built upon existing vocabularies and closely engaged with new open initiatives such as, for example, GACS thesaurus mapping agricultural standards to each other, LandVoc is ultimately contribute to ensure the maximum benefit of open standards in the global information ecosystem on the World Wide Web – a global partner for Sustainable Development Data.
If you are interested to adopt LandVoc in your organization, would like to take part in the Land Portal’s informal reviewing committee or would like to be updated about the latest developments around LandVoc, please do not hesitate to contact the Land Portal Team at: [email protected]
‘Open’, ‘data’, ‘smart’ buzzwords are actively fragmenting into different mission-related events mainstreaming impact through activities, services and products, at a global level:
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