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Global Agricultural Concept 
Scheme (GACS) 
Johannes Keizer, Simon Liu, Martin Parr 
Global GODAN/CIARD Consultation on Op...
Global Agricultural Content Scheme 
(GACS) 
• Who? 
• Why? 
• What? 
• How?
• Johannes Keizer 
• Simon Liu 
• Martin Parr 
Who?
What words describe this picture? 
Swine? Pig? 
Porcine? Hog? 
Sus scrofa domestica?
• Acronyms 
Synonyms 
- ABA vs. abscisic acid 
- DHBV vs. Duck hepatitis B virus 
- WHO vs. World Health Organization 
• P...
Turkey 
Pieris 
Homographs
Scientific vs. Common Names 
● Heliothis zea 
● Helicoverpa zea 
● Tomato fruitworm 
● Corn earworm 
● Bollworm
Needs a Thesaurus 
• Share common understanding of the structure of 
information 
- Among people 
- Among systems/database...
Existing Thesauri 
NALT 
AGROVOC 
CABT
Why GACS? 
We have some common beliefs 
● We serve consumers of agricultural scientific 
knowledge 
● We want to help them...
Why GACS? 
We have some common challenges 
● G8 Conference on Open Data in Agriculture & Nutrition 
● In the age of open d...
Why GACS? 
We share some common knowledge
GACS Uses 
• Information description & structuring 
• Spelling aid 
• Natural language processing 
• Information retrieval...
What? 
Global Agriculture Concept Scheme 
GACS … 
● A global unified agricultural language system 
● Address the differenc...
What? 
GACS aspires to … 
● Be owned and maintained by a consortium? 
● Bring economies of scale to partners and users 
● ...
How? 
● Signed agreement between CABI, FAO, NAL to work 
together to develop GACS, covering 
● Options for alignment 
● Te...
How? 
Potential for alignment
Meeting 
Outcomes 
. 
Building common understanding 
Fact finding for consultants Part 1 report 
Communicate the need for ...
Thank You
Questions? 
● We are proposing an approach to address a need for a unified agricultural language 
system. 
Is this a real ...
Conclusions of the meeting? 
● There is a need for GACS, this approach is important/essential, and although there 
may be ...
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Global agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS)

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The goal of the GACS project is to create a Global Agricultural Concept Scheme as a hub for thesauri in the agricultural field, in multiple languages, for use in Linked Data.The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), CAB International (CABI), and the National Agricultural Library of the USA (NAL) agreed in October 2013 to explore the feasibility of developing a shared concept scheme by integrating their three thesauri: the AGROVOC Concept Scheme, the CAB Thesaurus (CABT), and NAL Thesaurus (NALT).

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Global agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS)

  1. 1. Global Agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS) Johannes Keizer, Simon Liu, Martin Parr Global GODAN/CIARD Consultation on Open Agricultural Knowledge for Development 22-24 April 2014 Rome, Italy
  2. 2. Global Agricultural Content Scheme (GACS) • Who? • Why? • What? • How?
  3. 3. • Johannes Keizer • Simon Liu • Martin Parr Who?
  4. 4. What words describe this picture? Swine? Pig? Porcine? Hog? Sus scrofa domestica?
  5. 5. • Acronyms Synonyms - ABA vs. abscisic acid - DHBV vs. Duck hepatitis B virus - WHO vs. World Health Organization • Plural / Singular - pigs vs. pig - renal calculi vs. renal calculus • Spelling variants - Sugar beet vs. Sugarbeet - Buddleja vs. Buddleia • Usage variants - Aubergines vs. Eggplants - Palta vs. Aguacate vs. Avocado • Quasi-synonyms…
  6. 6. Turkey Pieris Homographs
  7. 7. Scientific vs. Common Names ● Heliothis zea ● Helicoverpa zea ● Tomato fruitworm ● Corn earworm ● Bollworm
  8. 8. Needs a Thesaurus • Share common understanding of the structure of information - Among people - Among systems/databases - Among people & systems/databases • Provide consistency & reduce variability • Enable reuse of domain knowledge • Avoid re-inventing the wheel • Enable interoperability
  9. 9. Existing Thesauri NALT AGROVOC CABT
  10. 10. Why GACS? We have some common beliefs ● We serve consumers of agricultural scientific knowledge ● We want to help them better navigate to and understand content ● We recognise the concept of global public goods and the value of open access & open data ● We have identified the need for a unified agricultural language system to support describing open data
  11. 11. Why GACS? We have some common challenges ● G8 Conference on Open Data in Agriculture & Nutrition ● In the age of open data we need common semantics to describe data thus enabling linking different types of information & data ● We each manage an agricultural thesaurus: AGROVOC, NAL Thesaurus, CAB Thesaurus ● These three thesauri meet the needs of their parent organizations, but they have differences
  12. 12. Why GACS? We share some common knowledge
  13. 13. GACS Uses • Information description & structuring • Spelling aid • Natural language processing • Information retrieval • Information mapping & integration • Automated indexing
  14. 14. What? Global Agriculture Concept Scheme GACS … ● A global unified agricultural language system ● Address the differences and builds alignments between AGROVOC, CABT and NALT ● Public ● Open (and moving to Open Data) ● Collaborative (CABI, NAL, FAO) ● Extensible (scope and partners) ● An integrated offering ● A working model (a bit more than a Proof of Concept?)
  15. 15. What? GACS aspires to … ● Be owned and maintained by a consortium? ● Bring economies of scale to partners and users ● Avoid duplication of effort in new organisations moving to open data environments ● Improve efficiency of information and data management in the long term ● Improve the discoverability of information and data to the benefit of farmers, researchers and policy makers
  16. 16. How? ● Signed agreement between CABI, FAO, NAL to work together to develop GACS, covering ● Options for alignment ● Technical Approach ● Governance ● Resources & Milestones ● Commission independent consultants to review existing thesauri and host organisation workflows and business needs ● Host and participate in workshops, working closely with policy makers ● This is what we hope to help start to answer here
  17. 17. How? Potential for alignment
  18. 18. Meeting Outcomes . Building common understanding Fact finding for consultants Part 1 report Communicate the need for GACS in an open data environment? Support for GACS
  19. 19. Thank You
  20. 20. Questions? ● We are proposing an approach to address a need for a unified agricultural language system. Is this a real need? Will this workshop validate the need? Is this a useful approach? Is this an important development? ● At the moment there are three organisations involved and three thesauri. Which organisations are missing? Which vocabularies/thesauri are missing? Is it important that they are included in this ‘proof of concept’ stage. What would the nature of their participation be? ● Who would be the main users of GACS? Do we have enough ‘use cases’ to help people understand the utility of GACS? ● We will need to address the governance of GACS. What sort of models would work? What innovative solutions for governance would be possible? ● Have we missed anything? Are there alternatives?
  21. 21. Conclusions of the meeting? ● There is a need for GACS, this approach is important/essential, and although there may be other partners at this moment we want to scope out and implement a first phase.

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