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This library is an implementation of the JSON-LD specification in JavaScript.

JSON, as specified in RFC7159, is a simple language for representing objects on the Web. Linked Data is a way of describing content across different documents or Web sites. Web resources are described using IRIs, and typically are dereferencable entities that may be used to find more information, creating a "Web of Knowledge". JSON-LD is intended to be a simple publishing method for expressing not only Linked Data in JSON, but for adding semantics to existing JSON.

JSON-LD is designed as a light-weight syntax that can be used to express Linked Data. It is primarily intended to be a way to express Linked Data in JavaScript and other Web-based programming environments. It is also useful when building interoperable Web Services and when storing Linked Data in JSON-based document storage engines. It is practical and designed to be as simple as possible, utilizing the large number of JSON parsers and existing code that is in use today. It is designed to be able to express key-value pairs, RDF data, RDFa data, Microformats data, and Microdata. That is, it supports every major Web-based structured data model in use today.

The syntax does not require many applications to change their JSON, but easily add meaning by adding context in a way that is either in-band or out-of-band. The syntax is designed to not disturb already deployed systems running on JSON, but provide a smooth migration path from JSON to JSON with added semantics. Finally, the format is intended to be fast to parse, fast to generate, stream-based and document-based processing compatible, and require a very small memory footprint in order to operate.

Requiring jsonld.js:

node.js + npm

npm install jsonld
var jsonld = require('jsonld');

Browser (AMD) + bower

bower install jsonld
  paths: {
    jsonld: 'bower_components/jsonld/js/jsonld'
define(['jsonld'], function(jsonld) { ... });

Browser + script tag

<!-- For legacy browsers include a Promise polyfill like
  es6-promise before including jsonld.js -->
<script src="//"></script>
<script src="//"></script>


jspm install npm:jsonld
import * as jsonld from 'jsonld';
// or 
import {promises} from 'jsonld';
// or 
import {JsondLdProcessor} from 'jsonld';

Quick Examples

var doc = {
  "": "Manu Sporny",
  "": {"@id": ""},
  "": {"@id": ""}
var context = {
  "name": "",
  "homepage": {"@id": "", "@type": "@id"},
  "image": {"@id": "", "@type": "@id"}
// compact a document according to a particular context 
// see: 
jsonld.compact(doc, context, function(err, compacted) {
  console.log(JSON.stringify(compacted, null, 2));
  /* Output:
    "@context": {...},
    "name": "Manu Sporny",
    "homepage": "",
    "image": ""
// compact using URLs 
jsonld.compact('', '', ...);
// expand a document, removing its context 
// see: 
jsonld.expand(compacted, function(err, expanded) {
  /* Output:
    "": [{"@value": "Manu Sporny"}],
    "": [{"@id": ""}],
    "": [{"@id": ""}]
// expand using URLs 
jsonld.expand('', ...);
// flatten a document 
// see: 
jsonld.flatten(doc, function(err, flattened) {
  // all deep-level trees flattened to the top-level 
// frame a document 
// see: 
jsonld.frame(doc, frame, function(err, framed) {
  // document transformed into a particular tree structure per the given frame 
// normalize a document using the RDF Dataset Normalization Algorithm 
// (URDNA2015), see: 
jsonld.normalize(doc, {
  algorithm: 'URDNA2015',
  format: 'application/nquads'
}, function(err, normalized) {
  // normalized is a string that is a canonical representation of the document 
  // that can be used for hashing, comparison, etc. 
// serialize a document to N-Quads (RDF) 
jsonld.toRDF(doc, {format: 'application/nquads'}, function(err, nquads) {
  // nquads is a string of nquads 
// deserialize N-Quads (RDF) to JSON-LD 
jsonld.fromRDF(nquads, {format: 'application/nquads'}, function(err, doc) {
  // doc is JSON-LD 
// register a custom async-callback-based RDF parser 
jsonld.registerRDFParser = function(contentType, function(input, callback) {
  // parse input to a jsonld.js RDF dataset object... 
  callback(err, dataset);
// register a custom synchronous RDF parser 
jsonld.registerRDFParser = function(contentType, function(input) {
  // parse input to a jsonld.js RDF dataset object... and return it 
  return dataset;
// use the promises API 
var promises = jsonld.promises;
// compaction 
var promise = promises.compact(doc, context);
promise.then(function(compacted) {...}, function(err) {...});
// expansion 
var promise = promises.expand(doc);
promise.then(function(expanded) {...}, function(err) {...});
// flattening 
var promise = promises.flatten(doc);
promise.then(function(flattened) {...}, function(err) {...});
// framing 
var promise = promises.frame(doc, frame);
promise.then(function(framed) {...}, function(err) {...});
// normalization 
var promise = promises.normalize(doc, {format: 'application/nquads'});
promise.then(function(normalized) {...}, function(err) {...});
// serialize to RDF 
var promise = promises.toRDF(doc, {format: 'application/nquads'});
promise.then(function(nquads) {...}, function(err) {...});
// deserialize from RDF 
var promise = promises.fromRDF(nquads, {format: 'application/nquads'});
promise.then(function(doc) {...}, function(err) {...});
// register a custom promise-based RDF parser 
jsonld.registerRDFParser = function(contentType, function(input) {
  // parse input into a jsonld.js RDF dataset object... 
  return new Promise(...);
// how to override the default document loader with a custom one -- for 
// example, one that uses pre-loaded contexts: 
// define a mapping of context URL => context doc 
var CONTEXTS = {
  "": {
    "@context": ...
  }, ...
// grab the built-in node.js doc loader 
var nodeDocumentLoader = jsonld.documentLoaders.node();
// or grab the XHR one: jsonld.documentLoaders.xhr() 
// or grab the jquery one: jsonld.documentLoaders.jquery() 
// change the default document loader using the callback API 
// (you can also do this using the promise-based API, return a promise instead 
// of using a callback) 
var customLoader = function(url, callback) {
  if(url in CONTEXTS) {
    return callback(
      null, {
        contextUrl: null, // this is for a context via a link header 
        document: CONTEXTS[url], // this is the actual document that was loaded 
        documentUrl: url // this is the actual context URL after redirects 
  // call the underlining documentLoader using the callback API. 
  nodeDocumentLoader(url, callback);
  /* Note: By default, the node.js document loader uses a callback, but
  browser-based document loaders (xhr or jquery) return promises if they
  are supported (or polyfilled) in the browser. This behavior can be
  controlled with the 'usePromise' option when constructing the document
  loader. For example: jsonld.documentLoaders.xhr({usePromise: false}); */
jsonld.documentLoader = customLoader;
// alternatively, pass the custom loader for just a specific call: 
jsonld.compact(doc, context, {documentLoader: customLoader},
  function(err, compacted) { ... });

Related Modules

  • jsonld-cli: A command line interface tool called jsonld that exposes most of the basic jsonld.js API.
  • jsonld-request: A module that can read data from stdin, URLs, and files and in various formats and return JSON-LD.

Commercial Support

Commercial support for this library is available upon request from Digital Bazaar:


The source code for the JavaScript implementation of the JSON-LD API is available at:


This library includes a sample testing utility which may be used to verify that changes to the processor maintain the correct output.

The main test suites are included in external repositories. Check out each of the following:

If the above directories are siblings of the jsonld.js directory you can run all tests with a simple command:

make test

If you installed the test suites elsewhere:


See the Makefile for various individual test targets as well as split node and browser targets. For instance, the test suite can be run piecewise with:

make test-node
make test-browser

Code coverage of node tests can be generated in coverage/:

make test-coverage

The Mocha output reporter can be changed to min, dot, list, nyan, etc:

make test REPORTER=dot

Remote context tests are also available:

# run the context server in the background or another terminal
node tests/remote-context-server.js

make test-suite JSONLD_TEST_SUITE=./tests

To generate earl reports:

# generate the earl report for node.js
./node_modules/.bin/mocha -R spec tests/test.js --earl earl-node.jsonld

# generate the earl report for the browser
./node_modules/.bin/phantomjs tests/test.js --earl earl-browser.jsonld