Existing specifications can be found through:

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative

DCMI defines general properties for describing resources, e.g. dcterms:created and dcterms:modified. The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set describes 15 properties that have been endorsed in IETF, ISO and ANSI/NISO standards. DCMI Metadata Terms specifies all properties maintained by DCMI. Both are among the most referenced linked open vocabularies. DCMI has a clear governance and operation structure.

The Friend of a Friend Project

FOAF is among the most referenced and oldest linked open vocabularies. It is managed more in the style of an open source project than as a standard. It is unclear whether contributing to the project would be productive; Dan Brickley is the only editor, and his focus is on Schema.org.



Schema.org allows webmasters to provide structured data to search providers using HTML markup. Google, Yahoo! and Bing announced Schema.org in 2011. Contributions are made through the W3C Web Schemas Task Force, part of the W3C Semantic Web Interest Group.


World Wide Web Consortium

W3C is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. It is not incorporated. Member organizations and invited experts from the public produce most of W3C’s deliverables. Invited experts do not pay fees. It follows a consensus-based process.

Among the deliverables of the Goverment Linked Data (GLD) Working Group, only its Organization ontology is relevant to this project; the Registered Organization Vocabulary and Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS) are not. Anyone may send comments to the public mailing list.

Deliverables of past working groups of interest are the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), RDF Schema, Web Ontology Language (OWL) and Representing Content in RDF.


Internet Engineering Task Force

IETF is a volunteer-run Internet standards organization. It cooperates closely with the W3C, ISO and IEC standards bodies. Its RFC 6350 (vCard 4.0), RFC 4519 and RFC 4524 (LDAP) are of interest. IANA maintains a registry of vCard elements. An RDF encoding of vCard 4.0 exists.


European Commission

The European Commission’s Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) programme completed three vocabularies. Its Business Core Vocabulary evolved into the W3C Registered Organization Vocabulary. The Person Core Vocabulary and Location Core Vocabulary are now in W3C namespaces.


Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

OASIS is a not-for-profit consortium that develops open standards for information technology. It is a member-run organization. The public may participate by sending comments. Its LegalXML Member Section is very active, its eGov Member Section less so.

Its OASIS Customer Information Quality (CIQ) defines an extensible Name Language (xNL), extensible Address Language (xAL), extensible Party Information Language (xPIL) and extensible Party Relationships Language (xPRL) of interest to this project.


National Information Exchange Model

NIEM was initiated as a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice with outreach to other departments and agencies. Its goal is to allow for national-level interoperable information sharing and data exchange. Several specializations of the NIEM Core schema exist.


Object Management Group

OMG is an international organization that establishes industry guidelines and specifications to ensure the reusability, portability, and interoperability of object-based software in different environments. Its Party Management Facility (PMF) specification is of interest.



OpenSocial non-RDF defines an open social application platform. LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Orkut and hi5 were early adopters after its launch in 2007. It is now independent from Google, and is increasing adoption among domain-specific social networks and enterprise vendors.


NEPOMUK Social Semantic Desktop

An apparently abandoned project of the Open Semantic Collaboration Architecture Foundation. Its Personal Information Model (PIMO) Ontology has no properties for names, emails, genders, birth dates, death dates or external links. Its NEPOMUK Contact Ontology (NCO), on the other hand, is of interest.



The BIO vocabulary adds properties for biographical information like bio:biography and bio:olb to foaf:Agent and foaf:Person.

The following vocabularies have inspired or been adopted by the above:

The following vocabularies have not seen widepread adoption beyond their authors:

The following are not appropriate to the scope of this project:

The following were not reviewed and are likely inappropriate:

This project may consider publishing mappings to DBPedia and Freebase classes and properties.