External Relationships


UCUM is deeply honored by the recognition we get from excellent standards organizations serving their communities, and we are glad to be considered a part of the solutions that these organizations are offering. We are trying to be reasonably responsive to content requests coming our way from these organizations or other individuals, and want to continue spending most of the modest effort on serving these content proposals.

Each organizations has their suite of standards, and some have asked for UCUM to advance on the tracks of their respective standard organizations. Because Units of Measure are not constantly changing the effort to maintain UCUM is fairly low. Conversely engaging in processes defined by other organization to create another standard from UCUM take far more effort than actually maintaining UCUM. And there are several of these organizations who have similar plans. E.g. ONTOLOG project, OGC, ISO TC215 IDMP.

It is understood that organizations considering the adoption of UCUM will sometimes prefer to have certain formal agreements in place and to set up structures to manage the collaboration. UCUM may not always be compatible to these requests. As this page documents, there are many organizations deriving some benefit of UCUM and engaging with any one of them may be difficult if we are not at the same time engaging with all of them.

The question is whether UCUM can reasonably pick any one organization to engage in such work or if it would not be better for an organization wishing to reference UCUM in a specific document to provide a draft of such document which references UCUM reproduces the minimum necessary material and describes in detail how the UCUM development and the new proposed status in that other organization would be synchronized and managed.

Examples of successful cooperation show that the more focused on content and the more light-weight the management is, the more effective and satisfactory is the cooperation. For example, there are several operations below who have made content requests and whose requests had been making a difference in the UCUM content. Other organizations have referenced UCUM in various standards drafts authored by their members with UCUM providing review and comments and content assistance to these efforts.

Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)

Contacts: Carl Reed, Aaron Braeckel

Status: the OGC community was one of the first serious adopters of UCUM for many years. More recently an MoU was desired by OCG and drafted earlier this year. Follow-up from UCUM side has been delayed because of bandwidth issues.


Contacts: David Clunie

Status: UCUM units adopted for at least a subset of measurements communicated in DICOM-SR.

IEEE 1073 Medical Devices Standards

Contacts: Todd Cooper, Paul Schluter, Melvin Reynolds.

Status: a few requests from Paul Schluter have been addressed in 2009. IEEE 1073 has a "rosetta" mapping effort and UCUM is part of that. This project requires little direct interaction by UCUM resources and a fruitful content-focused cooperation between IEEE 1073 and UCUM appears to be fully functional.


Contacts: Bill Hess

Status: UCUM used in medication description data standards. Accommodated procedure-defined units for several allergen and other disease-causing agents in 2009.


Contacts: Sylvia Thun

Status: DIMDI references UCUM among it’s eHealth standards. DIMDI sponsored people are actively involved in the discussion process to determine organizational and procedural strategies required to be useful in the further evolution of the eHealth standards field in Germany, Europe, and world-wide.


Contact: Christof Gessner, Sylvia Thun, Melvin Reynolds

Status: several of the groups and individuals mentioned above have worked UCUM into ISO TC215 standards drafts. We have reviewed and commented about these drafts and responded to questions and considered modifications to better accommodate the needs of this community, of which some UCUM people considers themselves a part.


Contacts: Marjorie Rallins, Eza Hafeza

Status: LOINC to reference UCUM units for example or canonical units used with LOINC codes.

ONTOLOG Ontology Forum’s UoM Project

Contacts: Peter Yim

Status: UCUM making contributions to the ONTOLOG UoM standard. Current activity September/October 2009.

As with all engagement with external organizations, there is a bandwidth problem. There is a lot more activity required for the harmonization with other organizations than actually maintaining UCUM. Since that ONTOLOG community is an open forum and made the threshold for involvement quite low, it was possible to engage in a bit more detail. However, the stance is still to wait and see into what the ONTOLOG specification will turn into. There is little expectation that it would be 100% consistent with UCUM, but as in the JSR-275 work (see below) if the two are not in violation of each others’ principles and not interfering, it would be a positive outcome.

Eclipse Foundation Project UOMo

Contacts: Werner Keil

Status: UCUM was added into the UOMo UCUM implementation. This project requires moderate interaction between UCUM and Eclipse Foundation.

Java Measures and Units Specification JScience

Contacts: Jean-Marie Dautelle

Status: UCUM was added into the JScience units of measure implementation. This project required very little interaction between UCUM and JScience people.


Status: SNOMED has mapped from its units to UCUM units concepts. Some descriptions of these mappings had been shared, reviewed and commented on by UCUM personnel.


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