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Programmatic access to EEA terminology sources

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The EEA has created several terminology sources in the form of thesauri, glossaries or simply vocabularies that supports the creation of EEA products that ranges from publications to complex web applications.

The Environmental Terminology and Discovery Service (ETDS) aggregates several main EEA's terminologies sources into a single website for easier look up.

Systematic and programmatic access to all terminology sources is available via the EEA Semantic Data Service (SDS) which provides a RESTful API to query and download the terminologies' data. 

The API is the provided SPARQL Endpoint http://semantic.eea.europa.eu/sparql which can be used by a software engineer / programmer to access the data in a programmatic way. The programmer would than use one SPARQL client (see list of sparql clients, there are more for any language) and send a query to the SDS SPARQL endpoint, data can than be retrieved in several formats CSV, TSV, XML, RDF, JSON etc..

All the vocabularies are originally encoded with the SKOS vocabulary so you can retrieve information like preferred label, definition, alternative labels, notation, broader and narrower concept relations etc.

This is a SPARQL query example that retrieves the first 100 terms (more correctly speaking "concepts" in the SKOS language) with some properties:

PREFIX skos: <http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/core#>

SELECT * WHERE {
  ?term_url skos:inScheme ?scheme;
         skos:prefLabel ?preflabel;
         skos:notation  ?notation;
         skos:definition ?definition
} LIMIT 100

You can see the results by running the query over the SDS SPARQL Endpoint.

Beside the RESTful SPARQL endpoint access, we also provide some terminologies as data download dumps, like:the GEMET download http://www.eionet.europa.eu/gemet/rdf?langcode=en. However to make a complete list of all the direct download dumps is outside of the scope of this howto and such a manual list is difficult to maintain in the long term (there are hundreds of them). The SDS SPARQL endpoint provides a single programmatic access to all the terminology sources. As soon as we create a new terminology source, it is made available via SDS and therefore the SPARQL query will automatically pick-up the new concepts/terms without any changes needed on your client side

Content re-use: All the content is licensed under the CC-By. Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, re-use of content on the EEA website for commercial or non-commercial purposes is permitted free of charge, provided that the source is acknowledged. See also: http://www.eea.europa.eu/legal/copyright

 

Description
The EEA has created several terminology sources in the form of thesauri, glossaries or simply vocabularies that supports the creation of EEA products that ranges from publications to complex web applications.


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