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Maiana 2010 release

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Yesterday, the Maiana team released the last version of Maiana of 2010. In the last three months, many changes and improvements have been made. This news summarizes the latest major and minor developments.

September (TMRA) Release: Most of the new features – like the Subject Feed of a topic map and the faceted search – have been presented at TMRA 2010 in Leipzig.

  • Map and Subject Feed: “Upload” and “URL” maps can be updated via the web interface or TMQL update queries. But from now on, you may actually watch these updates in a topic map. Each map offers a Map and several Subject Feeds: the Map Feed informs you about all changes in the topic map – the creation of topics, the update of name and occurrence values, the participation in associations and so on. Additionally, using the Subject Feed one may watch a particular topic of interest.
  • Faceted Search: When searching the full text index of a large topic map with a more general search term, e.g. searching the Opera Topic Map for opera, the user can easily get lost in the overwhelming number of results. To address this problem, we included the topic types of the search results in a faceted manner. The user is now able to reduce the number of displayed results by selecting and deselecting any topic type she is not interested in.
  • OSM/Google Maps support for geo-typed occurrences: This is a gadget appearing in maps that include topics representing places. A topic that owns any occurrence of data type http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Geodetic_System_1984 – usually known as the triple of latitude, longitude and an optional value for the height – has a little map icon that reveals an Open Street Map visualization of the given coordinate.

October Release

  • New design: While adding more and more features to Maiana we felt the need to improve the user interface, too. This is a work in progress so stay tuned for more eye candy in the future.
  • Renew API key: The Maiana API key is as important as the pair of your user name and password. In any case of security emergency, e.g. if you lost or accidentally published your API key, you can click on “renew API key” on your Maiana profile page and the compromised key will be disabled.
  • Maiana API: Query with TMQL: The Topic Maps Query Language (TMQL) is a powerful query language in the field of Topic Maps. With the opening of the Maiana API for TMQL queries of all kinds, every Maiana user can now benefit of this power. You can discover how easy it is to use the Maiana API by having a quick look at the Maiana API documentation.
  • Feature overview for map types: Have you ever wondered which features of Maiana are available for the different types of maps, e.g. the “Upload” map? You may inform yourself by clicking on the help button at the “Create Topic Map” part on your dashboard or by opening the “Features” tab of a map (e.g. the ToyTM).

November Release

  • Container: References Tab: Maiana Containers are for virtual merging different maps we are calling “references”. In the past, the information about active references was hidden for every user except the owner of the container. Now, the new “Reference” tab reveals this useful information: for example, it shows which maps have been merged to create the “Operas” Container.
  • Social Tab and Editors: Maiana wants to be a social topic maps platform. With the introduction of the new “Editor” role this is now taken to a new level. Any user who has been invited as editor to a map in the “Social” tab may now view this map (similar to users that own the “Viewer” role) AND may edit it in the web-interface or by executing TMQL update queries.
  • Maiana API: Search in maps: While having remote access to the data structure of a topic map with the TMQL querying facility of the Maiana API is great, the flexibility of TMQL may sometimes be unnecessary. For this reason, we opened up the full text search functionality of Maiana with the new API method called search_endpoint. You can perform any search and receive the results as JSON objects as described in the Maiana API documentation.
  • RDF/N3 export of a topic map: When speaking about the Semantic Web, one usually thinks of RDF in one of its various formats. We strongly support the Semantic Web ideas of opening up data silos and connecting all available public data. And we want Maiana to play its part in this game. So we made the export of whole Maiana maps as RDF/XML and RDF/N3 easily available in the “Download map data” menu of each downloadable map.
  • New map type: XLS: We love Topic Maps and structured data in general. But the vast majority of data out there is semi- to unstructured. In the continuing effort to provide tools for better handling of data, we introduced the new “XLS” map type that allows the upload of a mapping definition file for Excel files. This way, the tabular-structured components of an Excel file may be viewed and used like any other topic map.
  • Renaming of JLI to DB: To distinguish between JLI access to Excel files and relational databases we renamed the former “JLI” part of the “Create topic map” form to “DB”.

December Release

  • Notifications: We introduced notification e-mails that inform about users following you and watching or commenting on your maps. Of course, the notifications may be deactivated on the profile page.

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Authors of this document are

Uta Schulze



Uta is project leader of Maiana. She is involved in Ruby Topic Maps, TMAPIX, and MaJorToM.

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Topic Maps is the only formal semantic model which is optimized for humans, not for computers. Applications and web portals based on Topic Maps are easy to use, without limitations for flexibility and creativity.

Benjamin Bock
Ruby Topic Maps
Topic Maps Lab auf der Cebit 2011

Graduate from the Topic Maps Lab