What about the 211/AIRS taxonomy?

Good question. What about it?!

The Open Referral Initiative intends to establish interoperability and open exchange between different kinds of systems. This entails building on what is currently in use. At the same time, it also entails moving beyond barriers to accessibility of community resource data.

The 2-1-1/AIRS taxonomy is widely used among certified providers of ‘information and referral’ services, as well as some government agencies. For some purposes, it is a very valuable tool for precisely categorizing types of services. For many organizations and most users of community resource data, however, it is a significant barrier for at least two reasons — first, it is a proprietary artifact, and second, it is difficult to use without technical training.

We hold the questions of how to move beyond such a barriers to be open questions. And this question is one of the big ones.

One possible answer to these questions could entail the removal of the 211/AIRS taxonomy’s intellectual property restrictions. Another possible answer (or another part of the same answer!) may entail the development of open tagging methods, so that a more flexible and semantic vocabulary can be ‘crosswalked’ to the AIRS taxonomy.

There could be still other possible answers… what do you think?

Posted in: About Open Referral