Digital Representation of Units of Measure (DRUM) – Technical Discussion

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26 Jun 2019

Digital Representation of Units of Measure (DRUM) – Technical Discussion

Submitted by Stuart Chalk

Meeting objectives: 

To discuss the current needs for and technical approaches to the digital representation of units of measure (and associated metrology concepts).  To develop a snapshot if ideas, issues, existing implementations, and needs for the storage of the units of measure for FAIR data science.

Meeting agenda: 


Collaborative meeting notes: 


  • Introduction to the CODATA DRUM TG
  • Overview of the Units of Measure Interoperability Service (UMIS) project
  • Discussion of the technical issues with the digital storage of units of measure with a view to creating a FAIR compliant specification.  This would include
    • Storage of units of measure in a data system
    • Representation in different data formats (e.g. XML, JSON, latex, etc.)
    • A nominal unit encoding system (e.g. IVOA’s Units in the VO)
    • Needs for storing/representing other ontology concepts (e.g. quantities, dimensions)
    • A unit interconversion service (if time is available)
    • A unit validation service (if time is available)
Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

The meeting is organized by the CODATA DRUM Task group in an effort to get community input on technical ideas for the digital storage of units of measure for different domains, communities, repositories etc.  This BoF is an aligned follow up to the BoF discussion held at the 10th RDA plenary in Montréal (2017) on the “The Digital Representation of Scientific Units of Measure”.

Remote participation availability (only for physical Plenaries):