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Carlos Rueda edited this page Aug 18, 2014 · 27 revisions

CF Standard Names Vocabulary Browser

Note: Although already pretty stable and functional, changes in functionality and interface (e.g., routes in URLs) may still occur without notice.

Providing feedback. Your feedback is most welcome. You can create an issue or suggestion for the tool using the Github issues feature. You can also fork the repo, and submit pull requests to contribute your changes.

The tool is available at, as shown in the examples below.

What it is

This tool is a user-oriented search and browse service for the CF standard names vocabulary. Besides providing a user-friendly browsing capability on the vocabulary itself, it also facilitates navigating to associated (linked) information in relevant semantic repositories. The first linked repositories are the MMI Ontology Registry and Repository (ORR) and the NERC Vocabulary Server (NVS).

The tool was developed as part of a general plan to overhaul the various tools in the MMI ORR system, in particular, regarding the browsing of registered vocabularies and mappings. The CFSN browser is an instantiation of a generic SPARQL-driven module to browse any vocabulary, with the instantiation basically accomplished via a specific configuration for the CF standard names vocabulary.

Main page—Displays a table with all standard names. Navigation relies on clicking the displayed standard names and using a number of search and filtering options (see below).

The field "Page size" changes the maximum number of names to show in the table. Enter the desired number and press Enter. If you enter an empty string or click the "Show all" button, all names that meet the filtering criteria will be displayed.

Navigation by page number is available at the bottom of each page. That section also shows how many terms satisfy the current filter criteria.

Words with underscores in the Description field are linked. If the word is in blue, it is a CF term and the link leads to the page for that term. If the word is in green, it is a common phrase or keyword, and the link leads to a search for that phrase anywhere in the attributes, making it trivial to find all the occurrences of the linked phrase in the CF standard name documentation.


Categories filter

There is a first section in the main page that allows to filter the terms according to categories. Each category is internally defined as a particular sequence of regular expressions to be applied on the standard names. This scheme basically follows the mechanism used here. Multiple categories can be selected, where the meaning is the union of them. This filter is not applied if no category is selected.

Global search

A second filter is based on the global search field and applied against the results of any previous filtering.

There are three modes of global search.

  • Literal: In this mode the search checks if the given input is an exact substring in any attributes of each term. Example: In Literal mode, the filter results are automatically updated as the field is edited.

  • Glob: This mode interprets the standard * and ? characters as denoting "any sequence of characters" and "any single character", respectively. Example:!g/*model performs a "glob" search with input *model. Note that a glob search is matched against the whole contents of each of the attribute cells, so search for *model will only find terms with an attribute ending in '*model'.

  • Regex: This mode applies a given regular expression for the filtering. For example:!r/^mass_.*_water$—do a "regex" search with input ^mass_.*_water$ (finds strings that begin 'mass_' and end '_water'). Note that without the anchors ^ or $, a regex will match any part of the attribute string.

In the "Glob" and "Regex" modes, press Enter (or change the search mode) to execute the search.

Whenever you press the Enter key in the main global search field or changing the global search mode, the URL in the browser location field is updated to create the corresponding search URL. This facilitates navigation (based on browser history) and sharing of search links.

Individual column search

Applied against the results of any previous filtering, the individual column search fields at the top of each column allow further refinement of the terms. For these strings, only a literal check against the column contents is performed; if the given input is found as a substring in that attribute, the corresponding term is included.

Individual column search strings are not reflected in the search URL.

Display an individual standard name—Displays the description and canonical units of the particular name ("sea_surface_temperature").

This view also includes URIs of the corresponding vocabulary term in known semantic repositories, along with links to retrieve the term in available formats. Currently, these are the MMI Ontology Registry and Repository, and the NERC Vocabulary Server. Suggestions are welcome for additional repository services to link.

This view also includes:

  • Mapped terms according to SKOS properties (exactMatch, closeMatch, breadMatch, relatedMatch), OWL's sameAs property, and others. Further navigation is via direct opening of the associated links and not through this tool.
  • Counts of mappings for the term.

Developer details

This tool is implemented in Javascript using AngularJS. In its current form, the only runtime dependencies are the external SPARQL endpoints at the ORR and NVS. Since those endpoints are CORS-enabled, the CF Browser can be installed even on your local computer.

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