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How to Start Topic Mapping Right Away with the XTM Specification

Book Chapter, was published by Sam Hunting at 2002-07-01

This chapter gives some kind of tutorial for creating XML topic maps.

XTM stands for “XML Topic Maps”. By the end of this chapter, you will know 100 percent of what you need to know to start creating XML topic maps, even if you know 0 percent (or even less) now.

As for XML, all you need to know for now is that XML adds the angle brackets to words in documents that otherwise look like plain English (), that when these words have been “marked up” they are called elements, and that XML elements live in XML documents, one of which, an XML topic map, we are about to create.

In this chapter, we will step through the creation of two topic maps. Because topic maps are simple and intuitive, we’re going to start from the bottom up, with the angle brackets, and finish with theory, rather than working from the top down. By working through the examples you will understand

  • All XTM elements
  • How to merge XTM topic maps
  • Some XTM pitfalls.


Sam Hunting: How to Start Topic Mapping Right Away with the XTM Specification. In: Park, J. and Hunting, S.: XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web. Boston, Addison Wesley, 2002. pp. 81-88


Sam Hunting

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Sam is involved in GooseWorks.



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XTM is the abbreviation for Topic Maps XML Syntax. There are currently two versions: XTM1 and XTM2.

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Topic Maps offers an information architecture for semantic portals with
highly networked content and access paths in support of the associative
human mind. It is our technology of choice for knowledge oriented
application systems.

Gerhard Weber
topicWorks Domains
Topic Maps Lab auf der Cebit 2011

Graduate from the Topic Maps Lab