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A schema is a form of classification system which catalogues information. There are many types of schemas in broad use worldwide. For example, schemas for software applications are descriptions of the format and structure of a given document or application's data (contents), and is commonly used in Information Technology by programmers, technologists and developers within many industries for sharing (sending/receiving) data between applications. In the study of Computer Science, schema is akin to Object-Oriented concepts where data is embodied in classes, but in the case of a web schema, the schema is represented by well-defined, textual descriptions which use a specific syntax (such as XML or RDF) to describe the form and structure a given item of data should follow (or can be expected to follow).

Early Schemas

One of the earliest formal library cataloguing schemas (upon which the popular library Dewey Decimal & Universal Decimal Classification systems were eventually based) is known as the Mundaneum.

   000 Science and Knowledge. Organization. Computer Science. Information Science. Documentation. Librarianship. Institutions. Publications
   100 Philosophy. Psychology
   200 Religion. Theology
   300 Social Sciences
   400 vacant
   500 Mathematics. Natural Sciences
   600 Applied Sciences. Medicine, Technology
   700 The Arts. Entertainment. Sport
   800 Linguistics. Literature
   900 Geography. History
   000 – General works, Computer science and Information
   100 – Philosophy and psychology
   200 – Religion
   300 – Social sciences
   400 – Language
   500 – Pure Science
   600 – Technology
   700 – Arts & recreation
   800 – Literature
   900 – History & geography



SchemaPedia was basically a Web 2.0, user-contributed and updated version of the centrally managed SchemaWeb, built by Ian Davis at Talis. It provides a schema directory, search functions and the ability to store/manage information about your data schema.


SchemaWeb is a directory of RDF Schemas expressed in the RDFS, OWL and DAML+OIL schema languages. SchemaWeb is a place for developers and designers working with RDF. It provides a comprehensive directory of RDF Schemas to be browsed and searched by human agents and also an extensive set of web services to be used by software agents that wish to obtain real-time schema information whilst processing RDF data.

RDF Schemas are the critical layer of the Semantic Web. They provide the semantic linkage that 'intelligent' software needs to extract value giving information from the raw data defined by RDF triples., also known as OpenSchema has emerged as the leading "Web 3.0" specification for marking up website content to share structured data about your data whether structured or unstructured.

[4] [5] [6] [7]

[8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]


External Links


  1. and One Hundred Years of Search:
  2. A vision of computers before they existed: (predicted computer screen/display technology, the internet, world wide web, speech recognition, information storage/retrieval, and, search engines... for more see 2002 documentary "The Man Who Wanted To Classify The World")
  3. Paul Otlet from a historian on Classification:
  4. Google, Bing & Yahoo's New Creates New Standards for Web Content Markup:
  5. Is Really a Google Land Grab?:
  6. ‘‘‘Introducing Rich Cards’’’ (a step up from Rich Snippets built on JSON+LD version of OpenSchema):
  7. Google Search - Features:
  8. Getting started with using Microdata:
  9. - OpenSchema issues list: (place to make suggestions or requests for new types to be added, changes, etc)
  10. 2011-2014 Proposals for (ARCHIVED):
  11. Microdata, RDFa or JSON-LD Appropriate or best usage?:
  12. SCHEMA.ORG -- Web Schemas - Periodicals Comics: ( datatype)
  13. Schema Markup Best Practices – Json-LD Vs Microdata:
  14. SCHEMA.ORG -- Web Schemas - Movie: | EXAMPLE-Microdata

See Also

RDF Schema | XML Schema | SQL Schema | OpenSchema | JSON+LD