Rachel Heaven

Rachel Heaven

BGS Informatics senior developer
BGS Keyworth


I currently lead tasks in the Geosemantics area of Informatics: the use of Linked Open Data, spatial standards, ontologies and semantic technologies for interoperability, text mining/analytics and knowledge discovery.
I design and develop spatial database solutions, web and smartphone applications for capture, discovery and visualisation of geoscience data.
I contribute to international working groups to define the vocabularies and schematic standards through which science data is made FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable)

Rachel Heaven’s biography

  • 2000: Software Developer, British Geological Survey
  • 1995 – 2000: Geophysicist, British Geological Survey
  • 1991 – 1994: University of Leeds BSc. Geophysical Sciences

Current projects and collaboration

  • 2019 – ongoing: Loop consortium: brings together geological surveys and research institutions in Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the UK to found a new Open Source initiative to build the next generation of 3D geological modelling tools
  • 2018 – ongoing: EPOS (European Plate Observing System) Vocabularies Task Force: harmonising thematic vocabularies for integrated resources
  • 2017 – ongoing: Text mining to aggregate geographic, stratigraphic and palaeoenvironmental data from narrative text and resolve against Linked Open Vocabularies. Collaborations with GeoDeepDive, Macrostrat and Geobiodiversity Database (GBDB)
  • 2011 – ongoing: Linked Data publication of BGS vocabularies and alignment with international vocabularies
  • 2014 – 2019: Supervision of PhD research using BGS vocabularies for semantic annotation, information retrieval and ontology alignment, in partnership with Robert Gordon University
  • 2000 – ongoing: Metadata systems – capture, validation and publication of metadata describing datasets and services

Published outputs


  • Geoscience vocabularies and ontologies
  • Linked Data, Linked Open Vocabularies, Semantic Web technologies
  • Geographic metadata standards (ISO 19115, 19139, UK GEMINI, INSPIRE)
  • Database design and development
  • Spatial data
  • Web and mobile application development

Boards and committees

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