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Topic Maps - Compact Syntax

Technical Report, was published by Dmitry Bogachev, Lars Heuer, and Gabriel Hopmans at 2008-05-15

This report describes the Compact Topic Maps Syntax (CTM).

External Link: more information

CTM (Compact Topic Maps) is a text-based notation for representing topic maps. It provides a simple, lightweight notation that complements the existing XML-based interchange syntax defined in [XTM] and can be used for manually authoring topic maps; providing human-readable examples in documents and serving as a common syntactic basis for TMCL and TMQL.

The principal design criteria of CTM are compactness, ease of human authoring, and maximum readability. CTM supports all constructs of the [TMDM], except item identifiers on constructs that are not topics.

This part of ISO/IEC13250 should be read in conjunction with [TMDM] since the interpretation of the CTM syntax is defined through a mapping from the syntax to the data model there defined.


Lars Heuer

No contact information available. 


Gabriel Hopmans

No contact information available. 


Gabriel is project leader of TopicView.



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CTM is the abbreviation for Topic Maps Compact Syntax. CTM is defined by ISO 13250-6, that is, part 6 of the Topic Maps standard. It’s a textual notation to describe topic maps.


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As a former information scientist, I am fascinated since 1999 by the capabilities for building Topic Maps-based knowledge systems having the potential to augment human mind. One can model arbitrary knowledge organization systems, deal with semantic heterogeneity, collocate all facts about one subject in one logical place, and with TMQL have semantic retrieval on federated semantic networks. Therefore I expect bright prospects for business concepts building on the exchange of such knowledge snippets via semantic knowledge services.

Alexander Sigel
Topic Maps Lab auf der Cebit 2011

Graduate from the Topic Maps Lab