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Welcome to the METNO Vocabulary Server

The included vocabularies are used within the MET Norway Metadata Format Specification.


The METNO Vocabulary Server (METNOVS) gives access to standardised vocabularies as expressed by the MET Norway Metadata Specifications. It is managed by the Norwegian Meteorological Insitute. Controlled vocabularies are used by data creators and data managers to standardise information. They are used for indexing and annotating data and associated information (metadata) in database and data files. They facilitate searching for data in web portals. They also enable records to be interpreted by computers. This opens up data sets to a whole world of possibilities for automated data workflows, computer aided manipulation, distribution, interoperability, and long-term reuse.


METNOVS makes use of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) to represent knowledge in a format understandable by computers. SKOS organises concepts into collections. A SKOS concept can be viewed as an idea or notion; a unit of thought. The notion of a SKOS concept is useful when describing the conceptual or intellectual structure of a knowledge organization system, and when referring to specific ideas or meanings established within that system. A concept collection is useful where a group of concepts shares something in common, and it is convenient to group them under a common label. In the METNOVS, concept collections are synonymous with controlled vocabularies or code lists.

Sparql queries to METNOVS

A UI to query the full vocabulary can be accessed at the: Sparql Endpoint.

Direct queries from the command line

The sparql endpoint for this vocabulary is:

If you would like to query the vocabulary directly you can query the above sparql endpoint using:{YOUR_QUERY_URL_ENCODED}

To do so you can use curl and your encoded sparql query. To encode the sparql query you can use any url encoder. For example, the following SPARQL query:

prefix skos: <>
prefix rdf: <>

select distinct ?collection ?definition WHERE {
  ?collection rdf:type skos:Collection .
  ?collection skos:definition ?definition .

will be encoded, i.e. replaced the spaces "%20" and other character replacements, as:

You can the use the above string as {YOUR_QUERY_URL_ENCODED} to query the endpoint, using the HTTP Accept header for the type of response you would like (in this case -H 'Accept: application/sparql-results+json'), as:

curl -H 'Accept: application/sparql-results+json'

The response you get in this case is:

  "head": {
    "vars": [ "collection" , "definition" ]
  } ,
  "results": {
    "bindings": [
        "collection": { "type": "uri" , "value": "" } ,
        "definition": { "type": "literal" , "xml:lang": "en" , "value": "A controlled vocabulary to be used to describe constraints on the usage of metadata and/or data. Ideally as little constraints as possible is defined. The definitions below relate to Creative Commons." }
      } ,
        "collection": { "type": "uri" , "value": "" } ,
        "definition": { "type": "literal" , "xml:lang": "en" , "value": "Production status for the dataset." }
      } ,
        "collection": { "type": "uri" , "value": "" } ,
        "definition": { "type": "literal" , "xml:lang": "en" , "value": "Controlled vocabulary to be used in METAMOD context to describe activity types. Rather than using the term observation type or platform which possibly could describe the nature of observed datasets, activity type is used to filter between both observations and simulations that possibly are describing the same phenomena. Activity types are used to identify the origin of the dataset documented within METAMOD. This is not an identification of the observation platform (e.g. specific vessel, SYNOP station or satellite), but more the nature of the generation process (e.g. simulation, in situ observation, remote sensing etc). It is useful in the context of filtering data when searching for relevant datasets." }
      } ,
        "collection": { "type": "uri" , "value": "" } ,
        "definition": { "type": "literal" , "xml:lang": "en" , "value": "Terms defined by ISO describing data themes." }
      } ,


Acceptable headers are:

  1. application/sparql-results+json
  2. text/csv
  3. text/tab-separated-values

If you save your sparql query in a file (query.rq), you can also directly query the endpoint as:

curl --data-urlencode "query@query.rq" -H 'Accept: application/sparql-results+json'

Material and Info

Additional Material and Info:

  1. SPARQL protocols
  2. Jupyter Notebook Demonstrator