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A JSON-LD Processor and API implementation in JavaScript
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Build status Dependency Status


This library is an implementation of the JSON-LD specification in JavaScript.

JSON, as specified in RFC7159, is a simple language for representing objects on the Web. Linked Data is a way of describing content across different documents or Web sites. Web resources are described using IRIs, and typically are dereferencable entities that may be used to find more information, creating a "Web of Knowledge". JSON-LD is intended to be a simple publishing method for expressing not only Linked Data in JSON, but for adding semantics to existing JSON.

JSON-LD is designed as a light-weight syntax that can be used to express Linked Data. It is primarily intended to be a way to express Linked Data in JavaScript and other Web-based programming environments. It is also useful when building interoperable Web Services and when storing Linked Data in JSON-based document storage engines. It is practical and designed to be as simple as possible, utilizing the large number of JSON parsers and existing code that is in use today. It is designed to be able to express key-value pairs, RDF data, RDFa data, Microformats data, and Microdata. That is, it supports every major Web-based structured data model in use today.

The syntax does not require many applications to change their JSON, but easily add meaning by adding context in a way that is either in-band or out-of-band. The syntax is designed to not disturb already deployed systems running on JSON, but provide a smooth migration path from JSON to JSON with added semantics. Finally, the format is intended to be fast to parse, fast to generate, stream-based and document-based processing compatible, and require a very small memory footprint in order to operate.


This library aims to conform with the following:

The JSON-LD Working Group is now developing JSON-LD 1.1. Library updates to conform with newer specifications will happen as features stabilize and development time and resources permit.

The test runner is often updated to note or skip newer tests that are not yet supported.


node.js + npm

npm install jsonld
const jsonld = require('jsonld');

Browser (AMD) + npm

npm install jsonld

Use your favorite technology to load node_modules/dist/jsonld.min.js.


To use CDNJS include this script tag:

<script src=""></script>

Check for the latest available version.

jsDeliver CDN

To use jsDeliver include this script tag:

<script src=""></script>

See for the latest available version.

unpkg CDN

To use unpkg include this script tag:

<script src=""></script>

See for the latest available version.


jspm install npm:jsonld
import * as jsonld from 'jsonld';
// or
import {promises} from 'jsonld';
// or
import {JsonLdProcessor} from 'jsonld';

node.js native canonize bindings

For specialized use cases there is an optional rdf-canonize-native package available which provides a native implementation for canonize(). It is used by installing the package and setting the useNative option of canonize() to true. Before using this mode it is highly recommended to run benchmarks since the JavaScript implementation is often faster and the bindings add toolchain complexity.

npm install jsonld
npm install rdf-canonize-native


Example data and context used throughout examples below:

const doc = {
  "": "Manu Sporny",
  "": {"@id": ""},
  "": {"@id": ""}
const context = {
  "name": "",
  "homepage": {"@id": "", "@type": "@id"},
  "image": {"@id": "", "@type": "@id"}


// compact a document according to a particular context
jsonld.compact(doc, context, function(err, compacted) {
  console.log(JSON.stringify(compacted, null, 2));
  /* Output:
    "@context": {...},
    "name": "Manu Sporny",
    "homepage": "",
    "image": ""

// compact using URLs
jsonld.compact('', '', ...);

// or using promises
const compacted = await jsonld.compact(doc, context);


// expand a document, removing its context
jsonld.expand(compacted, function(err, expanded) {
  /* Output:
    "": [{"@value": "Manu Sporny"}],
    "": [{"@id": ""}],
    "": [{"@id": ""}]

// expand using URLs
jsonld.expand('', ...);

// or using promises
const expanded = await jsonld.expand(doc);


// flatten a document
jsonld.flatten(doc, (err, flattened) => {
  // all deep-level trees flattened to the top-level

// or using promises
const flattened = await jsonld.flatten(doc);


// frame a document
jsonld.frame(doc, frame, (err, framed) => {
  // document transformed into a particular tree structure per the given frame

// or using promises
const framed = await jsonld.frame(doc, frame);

canonize (normalize)

// canonize (normalize) a document using the RDF Dataset Normalization Algorithm
// (URDNA2015), see:
jsonld.canonize(doc, {
  algorithm: 'URDNA2015',
  format: 'application/n-quads'
}, (err, canonized) => {
  // canonized is a string that is a canonical representation of the document
  // that can be used for hashing, comparison, etc.

// or using promises
const canonized = await jsonld.canonize(doc, {format: 'application/n-quads'});

toRDF (N-Quads)

// serialize a document to N-Quads (RDF)
jsonld.toRDF(doc, {format: 'application/n-quads'}, (err, nquads) => {
  // nquads is a string of N-Quads

// or using promises
const rdf = await jsonld.toRDF(doc, {format: 'application/n-quads'});

fromRDF (N-Quads)

// deserialize N-Quads (RDF) to JSON-LD
jsonld.fromRDF(nquads, {format: 'application/n-quads'}, (err, doc) => {
  // doc is JSON-LD

// or using promises
const doc = await jsonld.fromRDF(nquads, {format: 'application/n-quads'});

Custom RDF Parser

// register a custom async-callback-based RDF parser
jsonld.registerRDFParser(contentType, (input, callback) => {
  // parse input to a jsonld.js RDF dataset object...
  callback(err, dataset);

// register a custom synchronous RDF parser
jsonld.registerRDFParser(contentType, input => {
  // parse input to a jsonld.js RDF dataset object... and return it
  return dataset;

// register a custom promise-based RDF parser
jsonld.registerRDFParser(contentType, async input => {
  // parse input into a jsonld.js RDF dataset object...
  return new Promise(...);

Custom Document Loader

// how to override the default document loader with a custom one -- for
// example, one that uses pre-loaded contexts:

// define a mapping of context URL => context doc
const CONTEXTS = {
  "": {
    "@context": ...
  }, ...

// grab the built-in node.js doc loader
const nodeDocumentLoader = jsonld.documentLoaders.node();
// or grab the XHR one: jsonld.documentLoaders.xhr()

// change the default document loader using the callback API
// (you can also do this using the promise-based API, return a promise instead
// of using a callback)
const customLoader = (url, callback) => {
  if(url in CONTEXTS) {
    return callback(
      null, {
        contextUrl: null, // this is for a context via a link header
        document: CONTEXTS[url], // this is the actual document that was loaded
        documentUrl: url // this is the actual context URL after redirects
  // call the underlining documentLoader using the callback API.
  nodeDocumentLoader(url, callback);
  /* Note: By default, the node.js document loader uses a callback, but
  browser-based document loaders (xhr or jquery) return promises if they
  are supported (or polyfilled) in the browser. This behavior can be
  controlled with the 'usePromise' option when constructing the document
  loader. For example: jsonld.documentLoaders.xhr({usePromise: false}); */
jsonld.documentLoader = customLoader;

// alternatively, pass the custom loader for just a specific call:
const compacted = await jsonld.compact(
doc, context, {documentLoader: customLoader});

Related Modules

  • jsonld-cli: A command line interface tool called jsonld that exposes most of the basic jsonld.js API.
  • jsonld-request: A module that can read data from stdin, URLs, and files and in various formats and return JSON-LD.

Commercial Support

Commercial support for this library is available upon request from Digital Bazaar:


The source code for the JavaScript implementation of the JSON-LD API is available at:


This library includes a sample testing utility which may be used to verify that changes to the processor maintain the correct output.

The main test suites are included in external repositories. Check out each of the following:

They should be sibling directories of the jsonld.js directory or in a test-suites dir. To clone shallow copies into the test-suites dir you can use the following:

npm run fetch-test-suites

Node.js tests can be run with a simple command:

npm test

If you installed the test suites elsewhere, or wish to run other tests, use the JSONLD_TESTS environment var:

JSONLD_TESTS="/tmp/org/test-suites /tmp/norm/tests" npm test

This feature can be used to run the older test suite:

JSONLD_TESTS=/tmp/ npm test

Browser testing can be done with Karma:

npm run test-karma
npm run test-karma -- --browsers Firefox,Chrome

Code coverage of node tests can be generated in coverage/:

npm run coverage

To display a full coverage report on the console from coverage data:

npm run coverage-report

The Mocha output reporter can be changed to min, dot, list, nyan, etc:

REPORTER=dot npm test

Remote context tests are also available:

# run the context server in the background or another terminal
node tests/remote-context-server.js

JSONLD_TESTS=./tests npm test

To generate earl reports:

# generate the earl report for node.js
EARL=earl-node.jsonld npm test

# generate the earl report for the browser
EARL=earl-firefox.jsonld npm run test-karma -- --browser Firefox


Benchmarks can be created from any manifest that the test system supports. Use a command line with a test suite and a benchmark flag:

JSONLD_TESTS=/tmp/benchmark-manifest.jsonld JSONLD_BENCHMARK=1 npm test
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