NERC Vocabulary Server version 1.1 released

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03 December 2007

We announce the launch of a new version of the NERC Vocabulary Server.

Version 1.1 (V1.1) of the server represents a complete rewrite of the internal software, with increases in both functionality and performance. Although the code for version 1.0 (V1.0) will remain operational for the foreseeable future, existing users are urged to convert to V1.1 as soon as possible. The development of new applications based on V1.0 is strongly discouraged.

More about the NERC Vocabulary Server

The Vocabulary server provides access to almost 100 lists of standardised terms that cover a broad spectrum of disciplines of relevance to the oceanographic and wider community.

Using standardised sets of terms, otherwise known as 'controlled vocabularies', in metadata and to label data, solves the problem of ambiguities associated with data markup. It also enables records to be interpreted by computers, opening up the data sets to a whole world of possibilities for computer aided manipulation, distribution and long term use.

The controlled vocabularies delivered by the vocabulary server contain the following information for each term

  • Key — a compact permanent identifier for the term – designed for computer storage rather than human readability.
  • Term — a text string representing the term in a human readable form.
  • Abbreviation — a concise text string, representing the term in a human readable form for use when space is limited.
  • Definition — a full description of what is meant by the term.

In the real world, it is not always possible or agreeable for data providers to use the same term. In such cases, controlled vocabularies can be used as a medium to which data centres can map their equivalent terms. V1.1 includes methods that access over 35,000 mappings held between terms in the vocabulary server.