Agrovoc Web Services: Improved, real-time access to an agricultural thesaurus
Controlled vocabularies, such as the multilingual agricultural thesaurus AGROVOC, are the facilitators of semantic services on the Internet, since they can provide the baseline for connecting distributed resources. The more resources in a particular domain are described using a certain controlled vocabulary, the more accessible and interoperable they will be. Providers of controlled vocabularies traditionally distribute their complete databases upon request to system developers in order to incorporate them into information systems. This process is cumbersome, and creates duplication of work, since common vocabulary and terminology services (like a query for a related term) have to be redone each time at the local application level. With web services it is now possible to expose such common vocabulary services openly on the Internet, thus avoiding laborious local duplication and ultimately encouraging a wider audience to use these services.