This page contains pointers to papers that explore various aspects
of Topic Maps. Other pages provide links to introductory material,
specifications and news from the Topic Maps community.
A collection of papers that explore some of the more esoteric aspects of
Topic Maps, including areas for further research and development.
Draft requirements, etc. for Topic Maps Constraint Language
(TMCL), Steve Pepper, June 2001
A draft user requirements document for the proposed new ISO standard, Topic
Map Constraint Language, including examples and a low bar proposal. Feedback on
this document is solicited by SC34/WG3. Please send your comments to your national
standards body and to the acting
Creating semantically valid topic maps, Geir Ove
Grønmo, May 2000
A paper about schemas for topic maps from XML Europe 2000. It discusses
the need for a schema system, gives examples of possible constraints that a
schema could describe, and examines existing constraint mechanisms and their
applicability to topic maps. The slides from the presentation are
maps: Introduction and Allegro, Steve Pepper and Hans Holger Rath,
A paper from XML 1999 that contains an introduction to topic maps followed by a
discussion of extended concepts such as topic map templates, type hierarchies,
association types and constraints.
TMQL requirements (1.0.0), Hans Holger Rath & Lars
Marius Garshol, August 2001
A draft user requirements document for the new ISO standard, Topic
Map Query Language (TMQL). Feedback on this document is solicited by SC34/WG3.
Please send your comments to your national standards body and to the
editors. See also the
TMQL home page.
– a tutorial, Lars Marius Garshol, December 2003
A tutorial introduction to the tolog topic map query language, which
is implemented in the OKS, and which is also included in the Omnigator.
predicate reference, Lars Marius Garshol, October 2004
Reference documentation for all tolog predicates.
– a topic map query language, Lars Marius Garshol, May 2001
A paper from XML Europe 2001 that describes a query language for topic maps
called tolog. This query language is inspired by Prolog and fully supports the
TMQL requirements. It has a clear and simple syntax, and its basic features are
easy to implement.
answer is just a question [of topic maps matching], Rafal Ksiezyk,
A paper from XML Europe 2000 relating topic maps with semantic networks and
conceptual graphs, and proposing a topic map query language (TMQL).
a General Theory of Scope, Steve Pepper & Geir Ove Grønmo,
A paper from Extreme Markup 2001 that provides the first ever in-depth examination
of the topic map concept of "scope": What scope is, how to use it, how it relates
to "context", and not least how applications might take advantage of it when
processing a topic map.
A Proposal for
Extending Scope in XTM, Kal Ahmed, July 2002
proposal for an more prescriptive treatment of the concepts of scope and
what it means for a characteristic assignment to be valid. The document
goes on to propose the means by which this approach to scope might be
encoded in an XML document.
Scope, Marc de Graauw, November 2002
interpretation of scope (or the semantics of scope) and the effect of
scope on the merging of topic characteristics when two topics are
with topic maps and RDF, Lars Marius Garshol, March 2003
About how to deal with both topic maps and RDF. The paper shows how to
do data conversion in both directions, how to convert RDF schemas to
topic map schemas, how to use OWL with topic maps, shows how to do
queries across both representations, and also shows how it is possible
to have vocabularies that can be used with both topic maps and RDF.
unifying model for RDF and Topic Maps, Lars Marius Garshol,
This paper defines a formal model, called Q, in which Topic Maps and
RDF have the same representation, which means that it's possible to
hide most differences between the two by using this model. The paper
is very technical, and assumes familiarity with both Topic Maps and
RDF, so it may be best to read the "Living..." paper first. The slides from the presentation are also
maps, RDF, DAML, OIL: A comparison, Lars Marius Garshol, December 2001
An in-depth paper about the similarities and differences between these
semantic web technologies. It introduces all of the technologies,
comparing them to a simple conceptual model that highlights how they
compare. A demonstration of how to map data between the technologies
is also given.
Ten Theses on Topic
Maps and RDF, Steve Pepper, August 2002
Ten theses on the relationship between topic maps and RDF. This is a second cut
at understanding the similarities and differences between these two approaches
to making information findable.
Web's Identity Crisis: Subject Indicators for RDF, Steve Pepper &
Sylvia Schwab, March 2003
A contribution to the debate on the "Identity Crisis" of the Web, showing how
concepts developed as part of XML Topic Maps - in particular, the notion of
subject indicators - provide an elegant solution.
Maps, Geir Ove Grønmo, May 2002
This paper explains a
new approach for creating topic maps from existing data sources. The
approach consists of a three-step procedure, and includes going via
RDF to produce the final topic map.
Methods for the
Automatic Construction of Topic Maps, Steve Pepper, March
Slides from a presentation covering the principles of
automated topic map generation from structured knowledge, document
metadata, information systems, structured document content, and
unstructured document content. PDF version
Ontopia MapMaker: Leveraging RDF to autogenerate Topic Maps,
Steve Pepper, March 2002
Slides from a slightly naughty
presentation describing a toolkit that uses RDF to generate topic
maps from really dirty data. PDF version
Topic maps in
content management: The rise of the ITMS, Lars Marius Garshol,
This paper shows how topic maps can address the
limitations of traditional content management systems while building on
their strengths. The term ITMS (Integrated Topic Management System) is
coined for a content management system based on topic maps, and the
paper shows what is necessary to build such systems, as well as what
benefits they bring.
Maps for repositories, Kal Ahmed, June 2000
Kal Ahmed's XML
Europe 2000 paper discussing the potential application of topic maps as
an interface to a multi-user document repository.
maps and knowledge representation, Ann Wrightson, February 2001
Examination of the intersection of topic maps and knowledge representation.
Web 2.0 and Topic Maps, Lars Marius Garshol, February
A presentation on what Web 2.0 is, exactly, and how it compares with
Topic Maps. Looks at wikis, tagging, and folksonomies, and gives some
examples of Topic Maps-based Web 2.0 applications.
Seriously capable topic maps, Ann Wrightson, February
This paper outlines what is required of topic maps in order to gain the most
benefit from them. A topic map architecture is described which covers a variety
of information repositories.
Semantic Web Services
TMRAP, Ontopia home page
A home page collecting all the information there is about TMRAP,
Ontopia's web service interface to Topic Maps servers.
TM/XML, Ontopia home page
A home page collecting all the information there is about TM/XML,
Ontopia's Topic Maps syntax in XML which is designed to be easy to
process with XML tools like XSLT.
Semantic Web Servers, Graham Moore, December 2003
A presentation about the missing piece in the Semantic Web standardization
efforts: the wire protocol for exchanging semantic web data, and making it
possible to build Semantic Web Servers.