Normdata Services

Normdata Services

For more information about DARIAH-DE's normdata services, see below: TGN-Service (Getty), PND-Service, and GND-Service.


DARIAH-DE offers the Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names REST Service , a tool to quickly identify TGN IDs.


Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (TGN) is a thesaurus of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which represents both current and historical names in various languages hierarchically and has been developed for use in museum documentation. It contains approximately 1,106,000 records, which describe 91,200 places. Furthermore, the thesaurus contains additional information on the recorded locations such as approximate geocoordination or a categorization by location type, and also distinguishes between geophysical and geopolitical data sets. Since July 2014 the TGN is available as open metadata.

The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names only provides approximate information for referencing with coordinates. Most Thesauri do not go down to the level of buildings, streets or even points.

The Datasheet Editor of the Geo-Browsers enriches its data by incorporating the Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names (TGN). Both a TGN ID and a geocode are assigned.

DARIAH-DE provides an API that delivers TGN data in a highly configurable way. Please follow this link to get to the REST API documentation of the provided service.

PND service (person name data file)

Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB)

DARIAH-DE offers a DNB personal name data file REST Service, which can be used to identify quickly PND IDs.

The personal name data file of the German National library (PND) – since April 2012 part of the more comprehensive common standard file GND (Gemeinsame Normdatei) – has been developed since the mid-1990s and served primarily to harmonize the application forms of author names from the context of the determination of title data and their authors in libraries. The focus was on the creation of individualized data records, which, for example, clearly identified persons of the same name. Each data record was assigned a nine-digit number combination as identifier, the so-called PND number. In the course of the integration of the PND into the GND were now converted to 10-digit IDs.

Reasons for a personal standard file service

In addition to geographical information, biographical and personal information represent data collected and processed in all disciplines, as they have an interdisciplinary character and can be used in a wide variety of research contexts. At the same time, personal information can be clearly referenced. The fundamental problem is the different spelling of person names. Therefore, there will be found - depending on the historical, linguistic, geographic and temporal context - very different synonymous names. An example is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, for whom, the PND currently contains 67 synonymous spellings. It is generally recommended to obtain the personal information on standard data records. This is the only way to ensure that they are clearly referenced and the research data described can be used interoperably. In addition, the data quality of the standard data is ensured by an editorial support. While setting up an individualized standard data record, the DNB also establishes the forms of application of names; Common different spellings (or pseudonyms) are also included.


All research projects which do not just want to refer to persons from the German-speaking world, can refer uniformly to the VIAF-ID, since international personal information may be found here. But the national numbering systems are already included in the VIAF (so this is a virtual norm file created from the matching of currently 25 standard systems from 20 partners). In this way it is also perfectly legitimate to continue using the PND (or GND) as an ID.

While many research and edition projects lead to internal name files due to gaps in the PND, personal data repository of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences was a first step towards the gathering of such information in the context of the humanities.

The data provided by the DARIAH-DE are currently based on an eXist database that has been equipped with a deduction of the PND data. The instance of the PND service is also used for the purpose of autocompletion of person names (for example, in the TextGrid Metadata Editor). The use of the service is documented in the public DARIAH-DE-Wiki (person name data file).

GND-Service (Gemeinsame Normdatei - common standard file)

Deutsche Nationalbibliothek


Standard data facilitate cataloging, provide explicit search entries and the possibility of networking of the different information resources. In the standard data sets of the common standard file GND, not only the preferred names are standardized but, in addition to deviating terms, also contain relations to other standard data sets. In this way, a network of interrelated data sets has been created. It is particularly suitable for use on the web, allows navigation within the standard file and thus improves the search possibilities for users. 

The unambiguous identification and labeling of entities in text data like persons, corporations, location-related information, keywords, congresses, geography and work titles, can be a strategy of annotating. The Common Standard File (GND) is a suitable data pool for such annotations with its approximately ten million data sets: It unites the person name file, the slogan standard file, the collective corporate file and the unit title file of the German Music Archive. The GND is based on its own ontology, is updated regularly and available for download from the German National Library licensed under the "Creative Commons Zero". The developement of the standard data, which consider interoperability of further ressources, demands for infrastructural assistance due to their format and size.

Standard data and authority files such as GND, and VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) play a central role for the integration of very heterogeneous data. For example, research data gathering in various contexts can be unified unambiguously and gaining insight, if they are enriched with standard data.

An interface is required, which allows targeted queries, in order to facilitate the use of standard data. In the case of the GND generated by the DNB, this is guaranteed by an SRU interface. SRU (Search / Retrieve via URL) is a standardized web service protocol. The results of the search are provided in a defined XML format. The SRU protocol enables the specific search by using search indexes and search terms and by transfer the corresponding hits into the own environment.

DARIAH-DE provides an eXist instance to query the GND, which polls the GND directly (in the beta stage) via SRU. The use of the service is documented in the public DARIAH-DE-Wiki (common standard file).

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