Browse EnvO

ENVO is a fairly big ontology with hundreds of its own terms and many more imported terms. All that content is what helps machines reason over the ontology, but it can make browsing it - in its entirety - a bit daunting.

If you plan on using ENVO regularly, your or your data managers or curators can make a subset of the terms, tailored to your community's needs. As long as those terms are linked to the ENVO IRIs (see our Annotation guidelines for more on that), all should be well. Please contact us if you'd like some support.

If you'd prefer that we host and maintain a subset for your community, please post an issue on our GitHub tracker and requesting an ENVO subset for your project or community. We can export subsets in a variety of formats, to make life easier.

If you or your team(s) can't find a term they need in subset, please search the full ontology through services like the OLS, noted below. If it's still not there, please request a new term (more on that here).

A number of portals and ontology browsing interfaces harvest ENVO. One of these is the European Bioinformatics Institute's Ontology Lookup Service. Once you're there, you can navigate ENVO by:

    • Typing a term into the search box.
      • Please pause a moment after you've entered your keyword(s) and all the terms with matches will be suggested. Hitting return immediately after entering your keyword(s) will take you to the first entry with a match.
    • Browsing interactively by clicking on the "+" signs in the hierarchy viewer below the search.
      • Note: You'll see some "upper-level" terms like "continuant" in the tree which you probably don't need. To get to the sub-hierarchy that's relevant to you, use the search box to get to something more general or related like "biome", "environmental material", or "environmental system process". From there, you should be closer to your desired term.

If you'd prefer to download and work with a release version of ENVO yourself, please visit our Downloads page.