Semantic Network Service (SNS)

The Semantic Network Service (SNS) of the Federal Environment Agency supplies support for questions concerning environmental terms. The Federal Environment Agency provides this service to encourage the practice of a common domain language in the German Environmental Informatics and to make this terminology accessible by the public.

Incorporated environmental information systems

SNS contains a bilingual (German/English) semantic network which consists of two components:

The Environmental Thesaurus UMTHES® is maintained by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and updated in SNS on a regular basis.

The Environmental Chronology is not updated regularly since 2017.

Until May 2020 SNS also included the GeoThesaurus Environment (Gazetteer). The GeoThesaurus, with approximately 25,000 geographical names and location relationships between places, was based on the Geographical Names of the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) and Nature Spatial Data (nature parks, water bodies, mountains) of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN).

Using semantic network services

SNS provides human access via web browser and structured data through rest based application programming interfaces (APIs). API documentations are part of each dedicated application and public accessable:

Using SNS information system is licensed under the Creative Commons Lizenz „CC BY-NC-ND 4.0“ (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International). Contributions remain the property of their creators, while the CC BY-NC-ND license ensure the content is freely distributable and reproducible.


In case of questions or suggestions please refer to the contact point:

Barbara Fock
Postfach 1406
D-06813 Dessau-Roßlau

Contact via e-Mail: