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Semantic search service accross mapped multilingual thesauri in the agriculture domain

This application coming from the AIM project ( is a semantic search service that makes use of mapped agriculture thesauri. It allows users to search any available terminology in any of the languages the thesauri are provided and retrieve information from resources which may have been indexed by one of the mapped vocabularies. Typical functions are navigating resources, helping to build boolean searches via concept identification or expanding given searches by extra languages or synonyms.

The service builds on several agriculture vocabularies: the Agrovoc Thesaurus (, the Agris/Caris Classification Scheme (ASC), the FAO Technical Knowledge Classification Scheme (TKCS), the subjects from the FAOTERM vocabulary, etc.

Agrovoc contains 35000 terms in 12 languages (not all the languages feature the same translated terms however), while ASC, TCKS and FAOTERM range between 100 and 200 categories coming in the 5 official FAO languages. Agrovoc terms consist of one or more words and representing always one and the same concept. Terms are divided into Descriptors and non-descriptors, the first ones being the only currently used for indexing. For each descriptor, a word block is displayed showing the relation to other terms: BT (broader term), NT (narrower term), RT (related term), UF (non-descriptor). There are also scope notes, used to clarify the meaning of both descriptors and non-descriptors.

Term code: 1939
Term label: EN : Cows, FR : Vache, ES : Vaca, AR : بقرات , ZH : 母牛 , PT : Vaca, CS : krávy, JA : 雌牛 , TH : แม่โค  , SK : kravy, DE : KUH
BT : Cattle (code 1391)
NT : Suckler cows, Dairy cows (26767, 36875)
RT : Heifers, Cow milk, Milk yielding animals, Females (3535, 4833, 15969, 16080)
SNR : Females (15969)
Scope Note : Use only for cattle and zebu cattle; for other species use "Females" (15969) plus the descriptor for the species

Actually, the AIMS project includes some more links, presented in specific Concept-to-Concept relationships (subclass of; caused by; member of; part of), Term-to-Term relationships (related term; synonym; translation) and String-to-String relationships (spelling variant; acronym).

Example of these links are:

Currently the Agrovoc management system lacks distributed maintenance, but it is expected that a new system will soon solve this problem, which is crucial since changes are made by experts from all over the world.

For AIMS, Agrovoc has been converted into SKOS ( and is being mapped to two other vocabularies: the Chinese Agricultural Thesaurus (CAT) and the National Agricultural Library thesaurus (NAL). This mapping uses the links provided by the SKOS mapping vocabulary, as below:

CAT-ID  CAT-EN                  Map             AG-ID   AG-EN                   AG-ID   AG-EN
30854   Senta flammea           Exact           9748    Cheena
50008   Mayetola destructor     Exact-OR        24260   Triticale (gramineae)   7949    Triticales (product)
1160    Two-shear sheep         NT1             3662    Hordeum vulgare