I’m looking for a way to visualize (and thus allow to browse) RDF vocabularies.

A solution must be FLOSS and work on GNU/Linux.

Use case: I come across a vocabulary without any documentation in HTML. Instead of trying to understand it by reading the triples, I want to load it into a tool and get an overview:

  • Which classes are defined? Which properties can be used? Any super/sub classes?
  • Which properties are defined? What is their range and domain? Any super/sub properties?

Input: RDF file.
The tool must at least support one RDF serialization, more is better, support of Turtle, RDF/XML and RDFa would be great.

Output: Some kind of tree/list that is suited to answer the questions from my use case.
The tool should show the values of rdfs:label, rdfs:comment, maybe rdfs:seeAlso, etc., and it should show the relations of sub/super properties and classes in some kind of hierarchy (might be useful to allow to collapse).

2 Answers 2


If the classes in your RDF files are declared as OWL classes (i.e. with triples such as ... rdf:type owl:Class), then WebVOWL might be worth a look.

It provides a visualization for OWL ontologies (so, the output is more graphical than thre "tree/list" you asked for), and it uses OWL API to import files, and thus supports all file formats supported by OWL API.

The visualization is specifically designed to answer questions just like the one you asked. rdfs:label is used directly in the visualization, and rdfs:comment is displayed in the sidebar when selecting an element. The class hierarchy is visible and can be collapsed to some limited extent. Hierarchical relationships between properties are visible only by interactive highlighting, though, and possibly also in the sidebar.

You can try the online version and import at least stand-alone files there, or you can also download the source code and the importer and run it locally or on your own web server. Both are MIT-licensed.


Suggested solution - Stanford's protege software. http://protegewiki.stanford.edu/wiki/Importing_Ontologies_in_P41

They have a web-based solution and a desktop solution.

I do not have personal experience with the tool, but came across it during another search.

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