Many vocabularies and ontologies are produced to represent and annotate agronomic data. However, those ontologies are spread out, in different formats, of different size, with different structures and from overlapping domains. Therefore, there is need for a common platform to receive and host them, align them, and enabling their use in agro-informatics applications. By reusing the National Center for Biomedical Ontologies (NCBO) BioPortal technology, we have designed AgroPortal, an ontology repository for the agronomy domain. The AgroPortal project re-uses the biomedical domain’s semantic tools and insights to serve agronomy, but also food, plant, and biodiversity sciences. We offer a portal that features ontology hosting, search, versioning, visualization, comment, and recommendation; enables semantic annotation; stores and exploits ontology alignments; and enables interoperation with the semantic web. The AgroPortal specifically satisfies requirements of the agronomy community in terms of ontology formats (e.g., SKOS vocabularies and trait dictionaries) and supported features (offering detailed metadata and advanced annotation capabilities). In this paper, we present our platform’s content and features, including the additions to the original technology, as well as preliminary outputs of five driving agronomic use cases that participated in the design and orientation of the project to anchor it in the community. By building on the experience and existing technology acquired from the biomedical domain, we can present in AgroPortal a robust and feature-rich repository of great value for the agronomic domain.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.