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Search with an Ontology service

The Ontology search option may or may not be present in the geoportal. It is a customization that allows users to leverage an ontology service when searching from the geoportal search page. An ontology associates terms with a specific technical meaning that can be unique to your organization. The Geoportal does not include tools to develop an ontology service, but can reference one developed or used by your organisation. To use the ontology service if it is configured, follow the steps below:

  1. Sign in to the Geoportal.
  2. Click the Search tab.
  3. Type the name of the ontology service in the search text box (by default, the service will be like) followed by a pipe character (|), and the term you want to search for in the ontology service. For example, like|river.

    The Geoportal transforms the search term into a Lucene syntax query. This means that all the rules of the lucene search syntax apply. If you want to query field names for a term, such as title or abstract, you can change the query, for example, title:like|river. In this example, the term river will be processed by the ontology service named like, and the outcome of the lucene syntax query will only be applied to the title field.

  4. Click Search.

    The Geoportal references the ontology service and finds resources that contain the search term and resources with terms that are associated with the search term. For example, searching for river returns resources with the word river and also returns delta, estuary, waterfall, and so on.


    If you are using federated search to search other catalogs from the Geoportal, the ontology service can't be used for searching those catalogs. In that case, no results will be returned if the like:term syntax is used.