Jan 1st - FAO NOCS has joined Caliper

NOCS, the FAO service for Names of Country and Territories is the first FAO service using Caliper "in production"!

From now on, NOCS data will be maintained in the Caliper editing platform, VocBench 3.0, and use other functionalities in Caliper for internal maintenance. Visit the revamped website of NOCS, based on Caliper!


Nov 24 - Caliper survey, results available

In between October and November 2020, we distributed a survey to our users and connections, to ask a few questions about Caliper. The results were very encouraging, as out of the 31 respondents, 23 are “Very likely” to use Caliper if that was an official service of FAO, 7 said “Maybe” (1 “I don’t know”).

Read the full reports (or download the pdf)

Here a few highlights from :

  1. Respondents are mostly “managers of information systems” (14) and “statisticians” (a total of 16, 9 of which working with metadata and methodologies (Q12).
  2. From Q9 (Do you have suggestions to improve Caliper?): “The most important missing feature is the guarantee of its stability, openness and long-term maintenance. Any investment using it is only possible with that”.
  3. Form Q9: Caliper could drive wider discussion among international organizations re data exchange/standards and semantics;
  4. Other suggestions from Q9: add links to official manuals; improve documentation; add more mapping between agency terminologies.
  5. Top format for download is CSV (to be expected) but second is RDF (not expected) (Q6).
  6. The most appreciated features are those for search/browse of classifications and correspondences (expected). Followed by download, API, URIs. Last is Edit (expected) (Q1).
  7. From Q3 (What other classifications would you like to have in Caliper): classifications in the area of natural resources/environment (5); other UN classifications (4);  nutrition (1). Results along the same line for Q4 (What other correspondences would you like to have in Caliper?).

Many thanks to all those who participated in the survey!

Nov 3 - News on AIMS

A piece of news on the Caliper survey on AIMS

Nov 2 - Caliper more secure 

You can now access Caliper and all its applications through a secure connection, with the HTTPS protocol. You will not note the difference as the browser you will automatically bring you to the new address.

Oct 20 - Survey launched! 

You can give us your feedback on Caliper with a short survey. It will take just about 3 minutes to complete!  Check out:

Sept 30 - What RDA can do for Statistics 

RDA, the Research Data Alliance, was started in 2013 to promote the sharing of data. Over the year it has produced a number of recommendations, a few of which are have been useful to our work in Caliper.  Here our experience implementing the RDA recommendations from the Agrisemantics WG.

Sept 29 - What happened in September 

During the month of September, the Caliper team has been is busy with:

- preparing a survey to gather feeddack from potential users and domain experts in general
- testing an API for accessing WRB 2014, in  collaboration with the Basque Centre on Climate Change
- testing the possibility of including FAO NOCS in Caliper

We are especially excited about the upcoming survey! More news very soon.

Sept 21 - Website revamped

What new:

  • Main menu reorganized to clearly distinguish content and functionalities. 
  • Second level menus added to "Functionalities" and "Documentation"
  • Search on classifications and correspondences now have a dedicated menu entry under "Functionalities".
  • Section "Documentation" now features a dedicated page on "Tools". 

Sept 14 - More download files 

Two more classifications are available for download as JSON - CRS 2020-01 and WRB 2014 (Update 2015)

July 23 - New content

Two new classifications have been included in Caliper:

  1. The Creditor Reporting System (CRS), Sector and Purposes, version 2020-01
  2. World Reference Base (WRB) for Soil Resources, version 2014 (Update 2015)

June 17 - Webinar at RDA Global Adoption Week

Caterina Caracciolo gave a webinar during the RDA Global Adoption Week, an event organized by RDA (the Research Data Alliance) to discuss the adoptions of RDA Outputs and Recommendations. The webinar focussed on Caliper and its connections with RDA Outputs (Slides).

June 1st - Caliper release May 2020 is out 

This new release features a number of updates and new content. Here's a log:


  • New content on geographical information, which now includes:
    • the original M49 classification system, by UNSD
    • the M49 enriched with codes agreed between UNSD and FAO (current version)
    • the M49 enriched with codes agreed between UNSD and FAO (as of July 2019)
    • the M49 enriched with codes agreed between UNSD and FAO (as of December 2019)
    • the SDG grouping of countries (which codes are also assigned by UNSD and based on M49 but published separately).
  • New correspondences:
    • ICC 1.0 and ICC 1.1 now link to AGROVOC.
    • CPC 2.1 links to CPA 2.1, maintained by Eurostat.   
    • Geographical concepts linked to AGROVOC and DBPedia


  • The website has been fully updated.  



  • Correspondences between classifications are now modeled both using SKOS and XKOS (the SKOS extension for statistical classifications, published by DDI). We use both ways to to model correspondences in order to accommodate the different preferences of different tools (and people). For example, while SKOS is probably more widely understood by the majority of tools, XKOS offers very convenient ways to query dataset to extract correspondences.  
  • Re-modelling of the geographical information. As all geographical classifications now present in Caliper refer to the same basic resource, the M49 coding system, we implemented them all as different SKOS concept schemes, all sharing the same basic objects, countries, only differently organized. So the five geographical resources shown in SKOSMOS actually correspond to only one project in VocBench. 
  • While working on geographical information, we have used and updated the FAO Geopolitical Information (only its OWL part). You can explore it in its dedicated project on PMKI.    
  • Improved management of metadata. A systematic handling of metadata has been introduced, which relies on the DCAT and VoID vocabularies and allows us to distinguish metadata concerning the classification itself (represented as dcat:Dataset) and metadata concerning the specific distribution of a classification (using the class dcat:Distribution). Those interested in the details of this modelling may access the project Caliper-metadata in PMKI.  
  • Revised naming of concept schemes and URIs. All URIs in Caliper have been revised in order to implement a uniform approach and naming convention.  

May 27 - Webinar at RDA IGAD event

Caterina Caracciolo gave a webinar on “Caliper – Serving statistical classifications in an Open Linked World” within an online event organized by the RDA Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD).

May 26 - Caliper webinar

Caterina Caracciolo and Carola Fabi gave a webinar on “Caliper – Serving statistical classifications on the Web” within the FAO Statistical Technical Network. Slides as pdf with speaker notes

Jan 30 - FAO publishes its Open Data Policy

Today, Jan 30, FAO has published its policy document on "Open Data Licensing for Statistical Databases". FAO has also collected a page on Statistical Database Terms of Use.

Jan 14 - New browsing interface available - PMKI

A new browsing interface is now available in Caliper. All classifications available in Caliper are now also loaded in a test instance of PMKI, a tool developed by the University of Tor Vergata and based on VocBench, the editing tool using in Caliper. This is the third browsing interface currently available in Caliper. Visit the page Browse for a pointer to all of them (credentials: "caliper").

What is PMKI good for? PMKI presents the user with different tabs (Concept, Collection, Scheme, Property, Alignments), which can be used to have a closer look at those types of information. For example, the tab "Scheme" allows one to select only one or more concept schemes, when several are available. Cf. datasets CPC2.1 and FoodEx2.


Dec 06 - New release

  1. New classifications included:
    1. Forest Product Classification and Definitions (2016). See visualization in Drupal, Skosmos
    2. World Reference Base 1998 (soil classification). See in Drupal, Skosmos
    3. FoodEx2. See in Skosmos
    4. M49 (codes used in FAO). See in Drupal, Skosmos
  2. Major improvement::
    1. CPC2.1 – improvement in the model, so that all info related to CPC2.1 is now accessible from a single point (ie, extension for ag and pesticides, and codes used in Fisheries). See in Skosmos.
  3. New and updated content on the website:
    1. A new section Documentation, explaining the models adopted for all classifications included in Caliper. 
    2. Added section News.
    3. An extended list of FAQs.
  4. All available classifications available in read-only view in VocBench. Use credentials: 

Nov 19 - Caliper presented at ICASVIII

Caliper presented at the International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS VIII), New Delhi (India). Paper: "Open Classifications for Open Statistical Data"; Caterina Caracciolo, Valeria Pesce, Mukesh Srivastava, Carola Fabi. Abstract (pdf). Presentation (link to GoogleDrive presentation).

See the Opening Cerimony of the conference, with the opening speech by Bill Gates.

Nov 18 - Website password-protected


All pages giving access to data (= browse, download, query) are now password protected. Type in “caliper” every time you are prompted for a password.


July 05 - Caliper presented at the FAO Statistics Division


See the presentation (PDF).