Core Vocabularies

Core Vocabularies

Simplified, reusable and extensible data models    

When is this solution for you? 

As a public administration, you want to:

Develop new systems from a conceptual and logical data model
Enable the information exchange between systems
Integrate data from various sources
Publish data in a common export format

What can we offer you? 

Core Vocabularies are simplified, re-usable and extensible data models that capture the fundamental characteristics of an entity in a context-neutral fashion. Public administrations can use and extend the Core Vocabularies in the following contexts:

  • Development of new systems: the Core Vocabularies can be used as a default starting point for designing the conceptual and logical data models in newly developed information systems.
  • Information exchange between systems: the Core Vocabularies can become the basis of a context-specific data model used to exchange data among existing information systems.
  • Data integration: the Core Vocabularies can be used to integrate data that comes from disparate data sources and create a data mash-up.
  • Open data publishing: the Core Vocabularies can be used as the foundation of a common export format for data in base registries like cadastres, business registers and service portals. 

ISA² has developed the Core Vocabularies for public administrations in an open process with the active involvement of specific working groups. The Core Vocabularies developed are the following:

  • Core Person: captures the fundamental characteristics of a person, e.g. name, gender, date of birth, location.
  • Registered Organisation: captures the fundamental characteristics of a legal entity (e.g. its identifier, activities) which is created through a formal registration process, typically in a national or regional register.
  • Core Location: captures the fundamental characteristics of a location, represented as an address, a geographic name or geometry.
  • Core Public Service: captures the fundamental characteristics of a service offered by a public administration.
  • Core Criterion and Core Evidence: describe the principles and the means that a private entity must fulfil to become eligible or qualified to perform public services. A Criterion is a rule or a principle that is used to judge, evaluate or test something. An Evidence is a means to prove a Criterion.
  • Core Public Organisation: describes public organisations in the European Union.
  • Core Public Event Vocabulary: under development. Do you want to join an open working group to co-develop the specification with experts across the EU? Let us know!

The Core Vocabularies are maintained by SEMIC with the contribution of the Working Groups.


Webinar: Implementing ISA² Core Vocabularies in JSON-LD

Is this solution open source? 
Any questions? 

Contact the semantic interoperability team on Joinup.

Contact the SEMIC project officer.

Contact the Interoperability Unit of DG Informatics (please use the subject line ‘semantic standards’).

More detailed information 
Who is already using this solution? 


Trentino region:

As part of its journey towards increasing the semantic interoperability of its information, the Autonomous province of Trento in Italy has set up a close collaboration between the Consortium of municipalities. The goal is to pilot the use of the Core Vocabularies through several initiatives: mapping Trentino's institutional web site information structure to the Core Vocabularies and creating a new draft Core Vocabulary for public events are two examples. One of the main benefits of the Core Public Event Vocabulary is to include municipalities as important agents for promoting social and touristic events with relevant local information involving small entities such as associations, local civil society representatives, volunteering etc."

Flemish Government: 


"The interoperability programme in the Region of Flanders in Belgium, 'Open Standards for Linked Organisations' (OSLO²) is re-using and extending the ISA CORE vocabularies: Person, Business, Public Organisation, Location and Public Service ( The core vocabularies are a valuable starting point for ‘Informatie Vlaanderen’ because they capture the fundamental characteristics of a number of interesting concepts that have been identified as very important for e-government in Flanders.



Other users: