Taxonomy Software

DECEMBER 26, 2004

Is there a standard data format for taxonomies/classification systems. Should include a specification of text encoding (like LDIF but for taxonomies). If there is I would guess there will be open source implementations (and if not won't be that hard to write one's own).


  1. Type of taxonmy:
    1. Enumerations (flat)
    2. Tree (single parent)
    3. Lattice (multiple parent)
  2. Identifiers. Support for at least 10 million possible elements in taxonomy. Optional: Identifiers should be portable across systems (i.e. you can plug different taxonomies together without recoding identifiers). This means probably want a GUID based id system). Required: basic int32 or int64 based identifiers.

Found So Far

  1. DELTA Seem to be primarily for standard tree taxonomies for animals and plants.

Written Myself

Two taxonomy systems with gui editors and serialization to xml. One in C# and the other in java. Major issue is non-stdness.

Wild Ideas

  1. Drupal has a pretty nice web-based gui for creating (and using) taxonomies. Could use that as a front end and then serialize to std text format from the drupal backend db