Taxonomies are everywhere and even if they aren’t labeled as such, they do exist in any capacity that needs to successfully and efficiently find data. One such example is This interesting information came to us from Info Q in their article, “An Introduction to Structured Data at Etsy.”

Etsy is about the unique and the vintage. As long as an item falls within the three broad categories of craft supplies, handmade, and vintage, it can be listed in the marketplace. Those are broad categories though. In reality, Etsy’s organization of structured data, defines a taxonomy comprised of categories, attributes, values, and scales. All the hierarchies combine together to form over 3,500 filters.

In this particular application, the taxonomy exists for the seller and the buyer. There is structured and unstructured data in listing titles and descriptions. Etsy can use machine learning to discover more information about a listing.

Taxonomies are key to Etsy’s success and ease of use. It is important to remember that solid indexing comes from a quality taxonomy. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies with integrated indexing rule bases to make their information findable.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.