Press Release

SD, Ontotext Release First Production-Grade UMBEL

CORALVILLE, IA, February 15, 2011 -- Structured Dynamics and Ontotext today released -- after four years of iterative refinement -- version 1.00 of UMBEL. This version is the first production-grade release of this open source, reference ontology for the Web. UMBEL's current implementation is the result of much practical experience.

UMBEL's 28,000 reference concepts and their relationships help organize, link and present heterogeneous datasets and information on the Web. UMBEL lowers the time and effort to develop, maintain and use ontologies, and to align them with other content.

UMBEL is derived from the Cyc knowledge base. UMBEL's reference concepts are mapped to Wikipedia, DBpedia ontology classes, GeoNames and PROTON.

"We held off on designating a version 1.00 [of UMBEL] until it had been tested and deployed sufficiently to warrant production use," said Michael Bergman, CEO of Structured Dynamics and one of the two co-founding editors of UMBEL with Frédérick Giasson. "We're pleased to signal that UMBEL is now ready for prime time," he added.

"This is a major step forward to provide a reference structure for knitting content together on the Web," said Ontotext's CEO, Atanas Kiryakov. "We plan to incorporate this new release immediately into our FactForge knowledge platform, already the largest and best performing reasoning engine for linked data," he added.

In broad terms, here is what is included in the new version 1.00:

  • A core structure of 27,917 reference concepts (RCs), an increase of 36% over the prior version
  • The clustering of those concepts into 33 mostly disjoint SuperTypes (STs)
  • Direct RC mapping to 444 PROTON classes
  • Direct RC mapping to 257 DBpedia ontology classes
  • An incomplete mapping to 671 GeoNames features
  • Direct mapping of 16,884 RCs to Wikipedia (categories and pages); 60% of UMBEL is now mapped to Wikipedia
  • The linking of 2,130,021 unique Wikipedia pages via 3,935,148 predicate relations; all are characterized by one or more STs with 876,125 also assigned a specific type
  • And, some vocabulary changes, including some new and some dropped predicates.

UMBEL's basic vocabulary can also be used for constructing specific domain ontologies that can easily interoperate with other systems.

Both Kiryakov and Bergman emphasized this release was an important first step to linking UMBEL with Wikipedia as a "gold standard" for ontological, semantic Web and disambiguation purposes. They noted future releases will extend these mappings, including with other important reference structures on the Web.

Access and More Information

UMBEL is open source, provided under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. All documentation from the prior v 0.80 has been updated, and some new documentation has been added:

Major updates were made to the specifications and Annex G; Annex H is new. Minor changes were also made to Annexes A and B.

All UMBEL files are listed on the Downloads and SVN page on the UMBEL Web site. The reference concept and mapping files may also be obtained from

To learn more about UMBEL (Upper Mapping and Binding Exchange Layer) or to participate in its ongoing use and development, here are some additional links:


These latest improvements to UMBEL and its mappings have been undertaken by Structured Dynamics and Ontotext. Support has also been provided by the European Union research project RENDER, which aims to develop diversity-aware methods in the ways Web information is selected, ranked, aggregated, presented and used.


About Ontotext AD

Ontotext is the leading provider of core semantic technology, such as OWLIM, the most scalable semantic database engine, and KIM, the most popular semantic annotation and search platform. Its FactForge and LinkedLifeData services provide unmatched linked data access and management capabilities. Ontotext provides professional services for text mining and semantic data integration; its customers include AstraZeneca, BBC and Korea Telecom. The company Web site is at; it is headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria.

About Structured Dynamics LLC

Structured Dynamics assists enterprises and non-profit organizations to adopt Web-accessible and interoperable semantic data. The basic premise is that the data itself becomes the application. Via structured, linked data and a combination of semantic technologies and Web services, information in any form and from any source can now be integrated and made interoperable. The company Web site is at; it is headquartered in Coralville, IA.

Press Contacts:
Michael Bergman
Structured Dynamics LLC
Tel: 319-621-5225
Email: mike at structureddynamics dot com

Yassen Christozov
Ontotext AD
Tel: +359 2 875 8117
Email: yassenc at ontotext dot com