You can access the live JUDS thesaurus, or find out more about what the thesaurus is, how we use it, and how you can collaborate on it within the various sections below.

Access JUDS Thesaurus

Comparing data from different sources can involve aligning a range of different standards. These can include data standards for platforms, operating systems, file formats, schema and values. We are focusing on values. For example, if we want to compare the functional or geographic dimension of data from two separate sources do the sectors or areas being described have the same definitions and are they similarly coded?

To facilitate this work, we are using a standard called the Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS). SKOS not only provides a universal ‘language’ for defining relationships between concepts (terms) in a single taxonomy (vocabulary, thesaurus or classification scheme) but also a means of systematically comparing concepts in different taxonomies.

To manage this work, we use an online thesaurus server. This provides a simple interface for users to build or store taxonomies and use ‘drag and drop’ functionality to manage relationships between concepts. It also makes all the data publicly available in the standard linked data format (RDF) that allows machines to read and navigate through the thesauri.

Each discussion paper we are producing focuses on an area where there are multiple standards for an identical or similar purpose. While the standards are partially compatible with one another they also contain significant differences. We use the thesaurus server to cross-map these standards and then use its linked data output to build visualisations to highlight the problems.

The thesaurus server will also provide a machine-driven translation service that allows an application that stores data using one standard to automatically retrieve the equivalent in another standard. This will include a ‘best match’ mapping that will provide pragmatic responses in instances where no formal SKOS mapping is possible.

We are actively seeking to collaborate with experts interested in (or responsible for) the standards covered by our discussion papers. Collaborators will have access to the JUDS thesaurus server and will be able to engage in controlled discussions on cross-mapping issues. Separate project workspaces are also available on the thesaurus server for use by other open data standards that could benefit from the platform and its technology. If you are interested in working with us please contact us.