Filename extension .jsonld
Internet media type application/ld+json
Type of format Semantic Web
Container for Linked Data
Extended from JSON
Standard JSON-LD 1.0 / JSON-LD 1.0 API
Open format? Yes
JSON-LD 1.0 - A JSON-based Serialization for Linked Data
Status W3C Recommendation
Year started 2010
Editors Manu Sporny, Gregg Kellogg, Markus Lanthaler
Authors Manu Sporny, Dave Longley, Gregg Kellogg, Markus Lanthaler, Niklas Lindström
Base standards JSON, RDF
Domain Semantic Web, Data Serialization
Abbreviation JSON-LD
Website JSON-LD 1.0
JSON-LD 1.0 Processing Algorithms and API
Status W3C Recommendation
Year started 2010
Editors Markus Lanthaler, Gregg Kellogg, Manu Sporny
Authors Dave Longley, Gregg Kellogg, Markus Lanthaler, Manu Sporny
Base standards JSON-LD
Domain Semantic Web, API, Algorithm
Abbreviation JSON-LD-API
Website JSON-LD 1.0 API

JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data), is a method of encoding Linked Data using JSON. It was a goal to require as little effort as possible from developers to transform their existing JSON to JSON-LD.[1] This allows data to be serialized in a way that is similar to traditional JSON.[2] It is a World Wide Web Consortium Recommendation. It was initially developed by the JSON for Linking Data Community Group before being transferred to the RDF Working Group[3] for review, improvement, and standardization.[4]


JSON-LD is designed around the concept of a "context" to provide additional mappings from JSON to an RDF model. The context links object properties in a JSON document to concepts in an ontology. In order to map the JSON-LD syntax to RDF, JSON-LD allows values to be coerced to a specified type or to be tagged with a language. A context can be embedded directly in a JSON-LD document or put into a separate file and referenced from different documents (from traditional JSON documents via an HTTP Link header).


  "@context": {
    "name": "http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/name",
    "homepage": {
      "@id": "http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/workplaceHomepage",
      "@type": "@id"
    "Person": "http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/Person"
  "@id": "https://me.example.com",
  "@type": "Person",
  "name": "John Smith",
  "homepage": "https://www.example.com/"

The example above describes a person, based on the FOAF vocabulary. First, the two JSON properties name and homepage and the type Person are mapped to concepts in the FOAF vocabulary and the value of the homepage property is specified to be of the type @id, i.e., it is specified to be an IRI in the context definition. Based on the RDF model, this allows the person described in the document to be unambiguously identified by an IRI. The use of resolvable IRIs allows RDF documents containing more information to be transcluded which enables clients to discover new data by simply following those links; this principle is known as Follow Your Nose.[5]

By having all data semantically annotated as in the example, an RDF processor can identify that the document contains information about a person (@type) and if the processor understands the FOAF vocabulary it can determine which properties specify the person’s name and homepage.


The encoding is used by Schema.org[6], Google Knowledge Graph[7], and used mostly for search engine optimization activities. It has also been used for applications such as biomedical informatics,[8] and representing provenance information.[9] It is also the basis of ActivityStreams, a format for "the exchange of information about potential and completed activities"[10], and is used in ActivityPub, the federated social networking protocol[11].


  1. "JSON-LD Syntax 1.0". 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
  2. "On Using JSON-LD to Create Evolvable RESTful Services"., M. Lanthaler and C. Gütl in Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on RESTful Design (WS-REST 2012) at WWW2012.
  3. RDF Working Group This Working Group ended its activities on 1 July 2014 and is now closed.
  4. JSON-LD 1.0, A JSON-based Serialization for Linked Data, W3C Recommendation 16 January 2014, 2014-01-16
  5. "Linked Data Patterns, Chapter 5: Follow Your Nose". 2011-12-27. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
  6. "Data Model". Schema.org. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  7. "Method Entities in Search". Google Developers. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
  8. Xin, Jiwen; Afrasiabi, Cyrus; Lelong, Sebastien; Adesara, Julee; Tsueng, Ginger; Su, Andrew I.; Wu, Chunlei (2018-02-01). "Cross-linking BioThings APIs through JSON-LD to facilitate knowledge exploration". BMC Bioinformatics. 19 (1): 30. doi:10.1186/s12859-018-2041-5. PMC 5796402. PMID 29390967.
  9. Huynh, Trung Dong; Michaelides, Danius T.; Moreau, Luc (2016), "PROV-JSONLD: A JSON and Linked Data Representation for Provenance", Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer International Publishing, pp. 173–177, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-40593-3_15, ISBN 9783319405926
  10. Prodromou, Evan (May 2017). "Activity Streams 2.0". W3C Recommendation via W3C.
  11. Tallon, Jessica (Jan 2018). "ActivityPub". W3C Recommendation via W3C.
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