Global Agricultural Concept Space (GACS)

Global Agricultural Concept Space (GACS) is a namespace for global identifiers of concepts related to agriculture, in the broadest sense, and grouped into (potentially overlapping) concept schemes.

The first GACS concept scheme, GACS Core, was created between 2014 and 2016 by a joint working group of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, CAB International (CABI), and the National Agricultural Library of the USDA (NAL) and substantially improved and revised by Lori Finch with a quality control project in 2017. Work on GACS Core was substantially facilitated by the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN). The GACS namespace is currently supported by CABI, which facilitates the GACS Working Group along with the French Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA).

GACS Core is a concept scheme with circa 15,000 concepts selected from, and mapped to, the most frequently used concepts of three larger concept schemes: AGROVOC (FAO), CAB Thesauris (CABI), and NAL Thesaurus (NAL). The editorial policies for GACS follow best practices of modern thesaurus design as reflected in ISO 25964, "Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies", and is expressed in Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), with some extensions, for publication as Linked Data.

GACS is seen as an important step towards linking and integrating agricultural data of all types to address the long-term challenge of global food security. The GACS community of maintenance organizations is growing. The GACS community aspires to build collaboration with expert providers of concept URIs in specific areas such as species, viruses, chemicals, and geographic places.

Browse GACS online

GACS can be viewed, navigated and searched in a browser for human readable consumption via the Skosmos interface.

Download GACS

GACS can be downloaded as a ZIP file holding the main concept scheme for GACS in the Turtle and RDF/XML formats.


All are welcome. We currently use the issue tracker on the gacs-scheme github repository to log requests, bugs, and discuss additions and edits. Please also sign up for the mailing list!

Creative Commons License

The Global Agricultural Concept Space (GACS) is licensed by the GACS Working Group under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.