Gazetteer and thesaurus service protocols

Presentation at the NKOS Workshop, JCDL 2002, on Digital gazetteers: integration into distributed digital library services, July 18, 2002

Greg Janée, Alexandria Digital Library Project/ADEPT, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Alexandria Digital Library Project has created two lightweight, XML-based protocols. The ADL Gazetteer Protocol supports relatively low-level querying and updating of gazetteers. In the protocol's model of a gazetteer, there is a one-to-one relationship between gazetteer entries and conceptual places; each entry (i.e., place) may be attributed with multiple names, a geographic footprint, and multiple classifications. The protocol supports querying by those attributes as well as by relationships between entries. The ADL Thesaurus Protocol supports readonly access to thesauri; its thesaurus model was largely borrowed from Z39.19. Each protocol stands on its own, but the two protocols are also complementary and synergistic, and they play key roles within ADL's larger digital library architecture. In our presentation, we will introduce the principal features of these two protocols, discuss design tradeoffs, and compare and contrast with other, similar protocols.