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Area Informatics and Topic Maps

Paper, was published by Shoichiro Hara at 2010-01-22

This paper is about applying Topic Maps to area studies’ data.

External Link: download slides

Area study is an interdisciplinary science that combines many disciplines in order to understand a particular area comprehensively. On the other hand, informatics is a science to understand things objectively, that is, by introducing distinctive “norms” and “methods,” it analyzes them comparatively and reproducibly. Area informatics is a new information paradigm in area studies to integrate individual disciplines of area studies and to create new knowledge about areas objectively and quantitatively.

The Humanities GIS Research Group (H-GIS), the leading research group in Japan applying informatics to the humanities, has been engaged in creating area informatics. It has focused on spatiotemporal aspects of events to treat them quantitatively, and developed spatiotemporal models and tools called HuMap and HuMap. It has compiled a digital gazetteer and a calendar table to help organize spatiotemporal data. Also, it has built many databases of area studies and developed the resource sharing system to integrate these databases seamlessly.

As languages, terminologies and methods are different from each discipline, integration and analysis of data from different disciplines are not realized except in some quantitative data such as times and places. Ontology is expected to be the key conception and technology to overcome this problem. There are several ways to use ontology such as Semantic Web and Topic Maps, and CIAS are trying to apply Topic Maps to our area studies’ data.

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TMJP - Topic Maps Japan 2010

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Topic Maps enthusiasts in Japan will gather together for this symposium. They will present the latest case studies, research, etc. They will discuss …

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The idea of Topic Maps is essential to enable dynamic information logistic. This requires a system that understands the context of the user to provide relevant informations and options automatically. Therefore semantic analysis is needed organizing content in a dynamic net structure.

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