In the move toward big data applications there are many activities focused on the structure, presentation, and annotation all kinds of data.  Central though to all these efforts is the need to report a unit with any measured value.  Currently, there are a number of disparate activities focused around the digital representation of units because of the urgent need to definitively represent and refer to scientific units, quantities and dimensions. Interoperability is significantly hampered in the current, fragmented digital unit landscape.

Therefore, this project is focused on leveraging the work on QUDT, UnitsML (a NIST project) and NIST’s expertise in metrology to develop a web portal for the administration, documentation and usage of semantically defined scientific units. The goals of this project are to:

  • Provide a stable, authoritative source for scientific units for digital applications
  • Allow international units-related bodies to administer the process of digital unit development
  • Allow subject domain experts to propose new units, quantities, scales and conversion factors etc.
  • Codify, through ontologies, vocabularies and naming conventions unit and quantity representations
  • Promote systematic unit/quantity application and usage through best practices and use cases
  • Allow international standards agencies to provide formal language translations of units
  • Provide a mechanism whereby legacy units can be represented and related to current units
  • Produce a global network of synchronized unit repositories

Although this project is primarily focused on units for scientific applications, the scope of QUDT (Quantities, Units, Dimensions, and DataTypes) is broader than this.  Thus, the deliverables of this project can be applied in many different areas.

The project officially starts in August 2017, however this website has been setup as a way to advertise the project and encourage interested parties around the globe to participate in the project so that it meets the needs of its users.  You can participate in the following ways (see contact info on right):

  • Advocate for this project within your domain, organization, institution or project
  • Submit use cases and needs assessments about an activity you are involved with
  • Provide copies of existing project reports where units were a component so the solution that was developed
  • Consider serving as a Discipline Unit Authority (DUA), i.e. a person in a particular scientific discipline
    that is the point person for that discipline in administrating units under the disciplines authority (i.e. Molarity (M or mol/L) in Chemistry)