Environment and Earth Observation Terminology


Climate change and the efforts to protect our planet have generated a wealth of studies in the environmental sciences domain. On 15th July 2021, the virtual KOMEEO Conference (Knowledge Organization and Management in the domain of Environment and Earth Observation) took place. The keynote speaker of the conference was Rodolfo Maslias, the Head of the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament, who gave a presentation on European Union Terminology in the fields of green resources and projects.

In the following paragraphs we will summarise the content of the conference and introduce the Environment Terminology project ENVI managed by the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (TermCoord).

The KOMEEO Conference 2021

The conference was organized by the Laboratory of Documentation (LabDoc) of the Department of Education, Culture and Society of the University of Calabria and by the Italian Chapter of the International Society of Knowledge Organization (ISKO).

The conference focussed on knowledge organization and management in fields related to the environment and to earth observation. The topics discussed included:

  • Construction and evaluation of new domain KOSs (Knowledge Organization Systems)
  • Domain-specific terminological issues
  • Big data and artificial intelligence
  • Information retrieval and data mining
  • Semantic interoperability
  • Reengineering, enrichment and mapping of existing KOSs
  • Application of domain KOSs
  • Theoretical, methodological and technological issues related to Knowledge Organization and Management
  • Development and application of metadata schemes and standards
  • Digital objects preservation solutions
  • Digital libraries and archives

In particular, semantic connections through a thesaurus in the earth observation domain were explained by Claudia Lanza (University of Calabria), and the work for building an ontology for the representation of Earth Observation data was illustrated by Giovanna Aracri (Institute of Informatics and Telematics – National Research Council). Other talks concerned the SnowTerm terminology database on snow and ice, the semantic coverage for coding clinical observations related to environmental-influenced diseases of LOINC, and the World Meteorological Organization’s ontology at the basis of WMO Hydrological Observing System (WHOS).

The ENVI project on terminology related to the environment

TermCoord has established collaborations with universities and professional linguists within the framework of the Terminology Without Borders project to create multilingual glossaries in the field of environment. The purpose of these collaborations is to contribute to the promotion of shared terminology for efficient communication.

The ongoing subprojects of ENVI are:

  • Climate change: a subproject containing a glossary of 262 terms in English and Romanian on various fields related to climate change.
  • Nature and Biodiversity: in this subproject you can find two glossaries containing equivalent terms in English, Portuguese and French researched by the students of the University of Porto.
  • Ocean and sea conservation: a table of 218 English terms concerning the conservation of the marine environment.
  • Natural Parks: it will include a glossary prepared by the students of the University of Alcalá with terms in English, Spanish, French and Romanian.

Visit YourTerm.org to find more information about Terminology Without Borders, the glossaries and how to participate to the project either as a university or as an independent professional.


Written by Maria Bruno, Schuman Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit. She holds a master’s degree in Translation and a bachelor’s degree in Italian Language and Literature. She is trained in websites and social media management, content writing and SEO. Currently, she is studying for her Diplôme Universitaire in Terminology at the University of Savoie-Mont Blanc.