Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Assessment



Knowledge Yielding Ontologies for Transition-based Organization

The globalization of markets and communication brings with it a concomitant globalization of worldwide problems and the need for new solutions. Timely examples are global warming and other environmental issues related to rapid growth and economic developments. The globalization of problems and their solutions requires that information and communication be supported across a wide range of languages and cultures. Specifically, we need a system that is able to collect and represent in a uniform way distributed information structured and expressed differently across languages. Such a system should furthermore allow both experts and laymen to access this information in their own language, without recourse to cultural background knowledge.

Natural Language is the most ubiquitous and flexible interface between users - especially non-expert users - and information systems. Environmental problems can be acute, requiring immediate support and action, relying on information available elsewhere. Knowledge sharing and transfer are also essential for sustainable growth and development on a longer term. In both cases, it is important that distributed information and experience can be reused on a global scale.


The aim of KYOTO was to develop a content enabling system that provided deep semantic search and information access to large quantities of distributed multimedia data for both experts and the general public, covering a broad range of data from widespread sources in a number of culturally diverse languages. In this project the following languages were targeted: English, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Basque, Chinese and Japanese.

This powerful system crucially rests on an ontology linked to wordnets - lexical semantic databases - in a variety of languages. Concept extraction and data mining were applied through a chain of semantic processors that reuse the knowledge for different languages and for particular domains. The shared ontology guaranteed a uniform interpretation for diverse types of information from different sources and languages. The system was maintained by field specialists using a Wiki platform. KYOTO is a generic system offering knowledge transition for any domain of knowledge and information, across different target groups in society and across linguistic, cultural and geographic borders. KYOTO applies to the environmental domain and spans global information across European and non-European languages.

Time frame

The KYOTO project ran from 2008 to 2011.


There were nine beneficiaries divided over six countries working on the KYOTO project


KYOTO was a Collaborative Project (small or medium-scale focused research project (STREP)) funded under the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).


During the course of this project, the important outputs generated by the different partners and the project group as a whole were made available on the KYOTO website.