An RDF vocabulary for Beneficial Ownership Data

03 Dec, 2020, by Cosmin Marginean

Beneficial ownership secrecy is one of the most common tricks for concealing proceeds of crime and it’s often used to cover the tracks of corruption, money laundering, and human trafficking, to name but a few.

Open Ownership is a non-profit committed to making a change in this space. They help countries implement beneficial ownership transparency, and they provide the frameworks and tools to support this transition. One of the crucial elements of these efforts is the BODS (Beneficial Ownership Data Standard) specification, which helps with sharing and processing beneficial ownership data consistently.

At Blue Anvil we make use of corporate data for a variety of use cases, and BODS seemed like a good candidate for some of the problems we’re trying to solve. The schema has an inherent graph structure, and since we had some prior experience with RDF, we wanted to model an RDF vocabulary to complement the BODS standard.

Developed with the Semantic Web in mind, RDF is an open and mature data linking blueprint. This makes it an excellent match for a typical graph model like BODS.

We’re hoping to engage the community in developing the vocabulary further, as we’d like to evolve it based on feedback from both consumers and data standard developers. To that purpose, we published a document discussing the principles and technical details of this proposal:

The GitHub repository contains related tooling and code samples, as well as some SPARQL queries, which show the vocabulary working in practice.

If you’d like to comment on or contribute to any of this work, please get in touch at


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