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The TAO of Topic Maps: Finding the way in the age of infoglut

Paper, was published by Steve Pepper at 2004-04-20

This paper provides a non-technical introduction to the concepts of Topic Maps.

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Topic maps are a new ISO standard for describing knowledge structures and associating them with information resources. As such they constitute an enabling technology for knowledge management. Dubbed “the GPS of the information universe”, topic maps are also destined to provide powerful new ways of navigating large and interconnected corpora.

While it is possible to represent immensely complex structures using topic maps, the basic concepts of the model — Topics, Associations, and Occurrences (TAO) — are easily grasped. This paper provides a non-technical introduction to these and other concepts (the IFS and BUTS of topic maps), relating them to things that are familiar to all of us from the realms of publishing and information management, and attempting to convey some idea of the uses to which topic maps will be put in the future.




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Ontopia is a complete set of open source tools for building, maintaining, and deploying Topic Maps-based applications.

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I like the easy but powerful way of merging Topic Maps to extend and combine existing knowledge bases. Thus I see high potential in distributed environments where peer to peer solutions may open the gates to the real Web 3.0.

Marcel Hoyer
Topic Maps Lab auf der Cebit 2011

Graduate from the Topic Maps Lab