Shared ontology lists - post your list!

@sudokita @clevinson @mark.easter @jherrick met today regarding the many lists our services maintain (crops, cover crop names, varieties, tillage types, etc. etc.) and how we can move towards common ontologies / lists. ’

Full Work Description:

  • STEP 1 - Know what we have! - If you are a tech or data service which has farm-related lists (crops, varieties, taxonomies, model input categories, etc.), please add information to this list:

I’m thinking @mstenta, @ircwaves perhaps also @plawrence for CFT, maybe litefarm (not sure who to point to there @dornawcox can you help?). It’s possible we can’t accommodate all use cases in round 1, but knowing what’s out there is helpful.

  • STEP 2 - Know what we want! - If you don’t have ontologies or lists but want to use them, please respond below with your thoughts, wants, needs and ideas.

  • STEP 3 - Identify a flexible data model that works for these cases! - Kita will review the information, and begin suggestions on data models that can accommodate the needs and address the complexities. We may not integrate everything, but we’ll do what makes most sense and adds most value.

We’ll be working based on this initial round of work on doing the (many many more hours of) work required to make comparable (cross reference, merge, etc.).

Next meeting will be on the GOAT calendar and we’ll post to RIOT and related channels.

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Very interesting initiative and glad to see it is exploring ontologies. Regarding and ontology of crops, our experience is that it is interesting to explore sources like DBPedia or Wikidata.

We have used them as sources for an ontology about plant health threats. More details about the project:

The resulting ontology can be explored at

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Thank you - that’s a really nice list! We’re starting with simple plant names, but this seems like a really useful addition when we get to pest and diseases @sudokita what do you think?

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@rogargon have you used this before?

Ontology Lookup Service - . 100s of ontologies here which you can search.

Talked with @richos_uk and he said this is quite a useful and comprehensive list. Wondering if the lists you’ve mentioned could be listed there or referenced or your opinion about the OLS generally.

Yes, I’ve used some of the ontology repositories, like OLS. Other options are:

In any case, my recommendation to build an ontology of crops would be to follow a similar approach to that we followed with the Plant Health Threats Ontology. We did that project for the European Food Safety Authority.

They provided us with a list of +100 pests and plant threats. We looked for them in the UniProt Taxonomy using scientific names to have a canonical URI for them, plus alternative scientific names and some common names. Then, we looked for them in DBPedia too, in our case in different versions for different languages to collect common names in different languages.

Looking at your list of crops, it seems you can follow a similar approach. You can also use Agrovoc as an additional source.


Awesome resources @rogargon. Thank you for sharing. I’ll be sure to take a look. @gbathree Makes a lot of sense to check these out. I think there are also some interest citizen science projects that we might want to take a look at for both plants, but also pest and disease reporting. Many extension groups have reporting tools for invasive species and I wonder if we can riff off those down the line.

I’m just getting back online, but more soon!