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The Getty vocabularies are constructed to allow their use in linked data. A project to publish them to the LOD (Linked Open Data) cloud is underway. The documents on this page contain news and presentations about releasing the Getty vocabularies as LOD. These materials are subject to frequent modification and addition.

List of External Advisors (PDF, 88KB, 7pp)
The AAT, TGN, and ULAN are now available as LOD. They are published under the Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By) 1.0.

News and Status of the Project

Releasing the Getty vocabularies as Linked Open Data is part of the Getty's ongoing effort to make our knowledge resources freely available to all. Making the Getty vocabularies available to the research community as LOD could have a truly transformative effect on the discipline of art history in general, and on Digital Art History in particular.

Working with the community: The Getty vocabulary LOD project is committed to maintaining an open community and collaboration. In an ongoing effort to involve the LOD community, we have established a public discussion forum. Please use this forum to ask questions, discuss issues, and find solutions related to the technical aspects of our LOD publications. Usage examples are especially welcome and encouraged.

To join the group, send an email to

This public discussion forum replaces previous methods of communication via email and the Q&A forum.

For questions and comments about editorial content or general information regarding the Getty vocabularies, please contact us at

Ontology update: Note that the ontology has changed. Click on the "Developers and programmers..." link above for details.

Additional releases: Information regarding additional releases will be announced on this page.

URIs (uniform resource identifiers): A description of the full set of URIs for the Getty vocabularies is available in Getty Vocabulary Semantic Representation, section 1.5.3 GVP URLs and Prefixes.

The semantic links to the AAT, TGN, and ULAN subjects are now live. For example:

The URI for CONA will continue to be directed to the HTML version of the full record:

The URIs providing new semantic links to the AAT, TGN, and ULAN subjects (as illustrated above) formerly provided links to the user-friendly HTML version of the full records. For users wishing to continue to link to the user-friendly HTML version of the full record for AAT, TGN, and ULAN, the long URIs as illustrated below may be used. Note that the subject_id is unique and persistent, reliable in all URI formulas.


In the future, shorter links to these user-friendly HTML pages will be devised according to the formulas illustrated below for ULAN. When these shorter URIs are available, an announcement will be posted on this page. Future URIs will follow these formulas:{ID} - Semantic View{ID} - Full HTML record{ID} - Hierarchy view scrolled to the requested record

Other formats: In addition to LOD, we plan to continue providing the data in relational tables and XML releases. If any format is discontinued in the future, users will be given advance notice.

What Is LOD?

A current trend in managing art information is to increasingly make data about art, architecture, and other cultural heritage objects available as Linked Open Data (LOD). This applies to the metadata about the objects, their creators, patrons, associated places, style, work type, and other terminology concerning their description, history, scholarly research, and conservation.

When data is linked and open, it means that data is structured and published according to the principles of Linked Data, so that it can be both interlinked and made openly accessible and shareable on the Semantic Web. The goal of linked open data is to allow data from different resources to be interconnected and queried, thus making it more useful. Although the idea of linking data in an open way is not new, the widespread practice of doing so is relatively new, thus the protocols, standards, and licensing options used for linked open data are still evolving.

In order for data to be understood and processed automatically by computers, data in records or about resources must be expressed in a standard format. Each thing (for example, a museum object, a place, or a person) must be represented by a persistent identifier (known as a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)). A Resource Description Framework (RDF) is a language or format for describing things as well as the relationships between things as simple properties and values (known as 'triples'), while things are represented using URIs. Among the most often-used formats for publishing art vocabularies are the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) and Web Ontology Language (OWL).

If data is to be open to the community for linking and discovery, traditional licensing and copyright practices for images, art information, and associated vocabularies and metadata must be adjusted. Data is considered open if the community is free to use, reuse, and redistribute the data, subject either to no restriction or to only the requirements of attribution or share-alike. Among the licenses most often applied to art information are Open Data Commons and Creative Commons licenses, each of which offers a range of levels of openness.

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus® (AAT), the Union List of Artist Names® (ULAN), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names® (TGN), and the Cultural Objects Name Authority® (CONA) are copyrighted by the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Revised 30 April 2015