JSON-LD Web Vocabulary


Project Details

Project Identifier
Bureau Decision #
#2112054. #2206083, #2206085, #2212017, #2304032, #2304033, #2309068, #2310073
Project Proposal Status


Project Page

JSON-LD Web Vocabulary

Supporting VC
Project Lead
Project ChairMaria CECCARELLI 
HoD Support
Submitted date
Draft Development Completion
Publication Date

Project Purpose

Traditional document-based message exchange is only one way of integrating data across supply chains.  A number of fast growing alternatives are emerging.

  • Web APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) offer a more granular collection of distributed services designed to get data from the source of truth. So, rather than exchange data, just exchange references to the data – for example, given a containerID, then get more details about that container from BIC (https://www.bic-code.org/api-information-page/)
  • IoT (internet of things) data streams provide a constantly updated stream of small data snippets from sensors on containers, gates, trucks, etc. So, rather than exchange documents about a thing, susbcribers can consume real time data streams  - for example to get continuous information about the location of a vessel or the temperature in a container.
  • DIDs (Decentralised Identifiers) and VCs (Verifiable Credentials) are fast being adopted as a scalable means to attach high integrity digital proof to physical things. For example, a traveller’s covid vaccination certificate, or a supply chain certificate like a certificate of origin or phytosanitary certificate. Rather than being exchanged in a B2B or G2G channel, a VC is issued to a holder (eg a trader) and presented to a verifier (eg a regulator) who can verify authenticity and extract data without contacting the issuer.

 All of these emerging technologies depend on common semantics in order to achieve scalability.  But the semantics are managed as web vocabularies where each term has a specific meaning and can be composed dynamically in any order. In this world, the dictionary is more important than the document.  The most popular syntax for publishing and managing these semantic dictionaries in JSON-LD.  There are already a number of very important web vocabularies in use today.

UN/CEFACT has perhaps the world’s most mature supply chain vocabulary (CCL and RDMs) and also an outstanding and trusted brand as a standards authority. But we do not publish our semantics in a usable way for modern web use cases.  We risk losing relevance as a standards authority if we continue to focus only on document standards and do not support more modern technologies such as APIs, IoTs, and VCs.  Therefore, the purpose of this project is to catch up with other semantic publishers and re-establish UN/CEFACT as the highest quality and authoritative publisher of supply chain semantic standards by publishing a UN/CEFACT JSON-LD vocabulary that includes all classes, properties, and code sets.

Project Scope

This project will deliver a high quality JSON-LD vocabulary published to a well-known unece domain and maintained throughout the ongoing development of the CCL, RDMs, and code lists. The vocabulary will be both human readable and machine readable and will support the international community in the development of interoperable APIs, IoT streams, and Verifiable Credentials. In order to support that outcome, the project will deliver

Project Deliverables

The project deliverables are:  Deliverable 1: Technical Specification Deliverable 2: Published & maintained JSON-LD vocabulary

Exit Criteria

The exit criteria will be: • Exit Criteria for Deliv. 1: Public Review logs demonstrating all comments have been satisfactorily resolved; Final document ready for publication. • Exit Criteria for Deliv. 2: Published & maintained JSON-LD vocabulary

Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise

Membership is open to UN/CEFACT experts with broad knowledge in the area of: CCL/RDM Business Semantics, JSON-LD technology. In addition, Heads of Delegations may invite technical experts from their constituency to participate in the work. Experts are expected to contribute to the work based solely on their expertise and to comply with the UN/CEFACT Code of Conduct and Ethics and the policy on Intellectual Property Rights.

Geographical Focus

The geographical focus of the project is global.

Initial Contributions

  • RDM2API-JSON-LD Vocabulary Guidelines – a deliverable from the RDM2API project can be re-used as the basis for the technical specification
  • https://service.unece.org/trade/uncefact/vocabulary/uncefact/ - existing published draft vocabulary can be re-used as the basis for a final vocabulary publishing framework
  • UNCEFACT Projects (unece.org) – Application Programming Interface Technical Specification (API TechSpec)

Resource Requirements

Participants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and functioning of the project shall not require any additional resources from the UNECE secretariat. 

Meetings are held Wednesdays 10:00–11:00 Central European Time, fortnightly starting January 19th 2022 (i.e. 19/01/2022, 02/02/2022, 16/02/2022...).

The standing agenda is to review open Pull Requests, then open Issues.

A host and a scribe will be appointed at the beginning of each meeting. Meeting minutes will be shared on this repo.

Google Meet link: https://meet.google.com/mga-zknx-ofb

Phone dial in: https://tel.meet/mga-zknx-ofb?pin=6104012882984 PIN: ‪245 729 010‬#

Project Proposal Files