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Geographical Web Service for Hierarchical Browsing

Contact e-mail: kochw #


General purpose and services to the end user

Select subtrees from the TGN for indexing and search assistence. The service implements a "getSubtree" method (as described in the WSDL: This method allows the hierarchical browsing of TGN concepts, and displays the information associated to the concept found.

Functionality examples

A user can ask for a concept and its specializations up to a given depth, limit the number of total concept displayed. A concept is manly searched via one of its associated string elements, preferred or variant, vernacular or other language.

Application architecture

The application consists in a web service generated by the AIT-Web Service Generator: The main components of the applications are (model-driven generated) WSDL-Files, soap-server components and client stubs for viewing trees and lists. There are distributed accross the web.

Special strategies involved in the processing of user actions

For searching concepts based on their associated strings, wildcards are allowed.

Integration between vocabulary-linked functions and other application functions

The highly parametrized "getSubtree"-method has an input which takes into account some interface motivations (depth of tree returned) and delivers an output processable by a tree display widget.

The service will be part of an environment for the generation of Service-Oriented Architecture object management systems following the Model-View-Controller paradigm. AIT has developed thesaurus management tools which can be used as components to Joomla open-source content management system, as found on (navigation tree in left column)

Additional references

Service website:



The service can potentially be applied to every monohierarchically structured vocabulary. It is important for the generation of the service that the vocabulary consists of nodes must have a reference to a parent node. It has however been developped primarily for the TGN, which provides with a link from a child concept to its parent one.

General characteristics (size, coverage) of the vocabulary

TGN features a hierarchical vocabulary of around 1.1 million names, and coordinates and other information for around 892,000 geographic places.

Language(s) in which the vocabulary is provided

TGN comes in different languages.

Vocabulary extract

This from the display found by running queries at

ID      1000080
Level   0
Path    /Top of the TGN hierarchy/World/Europe/Italia
Term ID 110
Preferred       P
Vernacular      V
Place Types     primary political unit | independent sovereign nation | republic | nation | dictatorship | kingdom | inhabited region
Parent  1000003
Description     Inhabited since 50,000 BCE; settled by Indo-Europeans 1850 BCE, Etruscans 1600 BCE, and Greeks 800 BCE; united by Romans 270 BCE; independent states rose after fall of Holy Roman Empire, notably Naples, Milan, Florence, Venice and papacy; reunited in the 19th century; official language is Italian, though significant minorities speak German, French, and Slovene.
Coordinates     12.8333E 42.8333N
Elevation       0

Additional references

Vocabulary Mappings

This application does not require mappings between different vocabularies