Friday, February 10, 2006

RDF/Topic Map Interoperability survey

The Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment Working Group has published:
"A Survey of RDF/Topic Maps Interoperability Proposals"

Editors include giants from the Topic Map world, such as Steve Pepper and Lars Marius Garshol.

I still think Topic Maps have tremendous potential, and I wish there was more adoption of them. I tried to set up a Topic Map for the Sun System Handbook, while I was at Sun, but couldn't get approval to publish and set it up as a navigation mechanism for the Handbook.

It's definitely an interesting read, especially section 4.3 on Semantic mapping issues. Lars Marius Garshol has done tremendous work in this area, and the Ontopia Knowledge Suite has some incredible features for viewing/interacting with Topic Maps.



Scott Roth said...

Scott, I saw your post on Topic Maps. I just read an article in the Microsoft Architecture Journal that may interest you.

If you haven't already, you will have to sign up for the free publication.


Anonymous said...

Hello Scott.

I've found interesting post of yours on Topic Maps. You've suggested that it would be useful to express data provided by services like in Topic Maps. I've stomped on Topic Maps while looking for an appropriate data representation for such a service. Do You think it could be a good direction to do this with Topic Maps? What about performance issues?

Blazej Karmelita (

Scott Hudson said...

I absolutely think Topic Maps would be a great data representation for a service such as It would provide the next level of information for tag clouds. Sure, you can have a list of URLs (Occurences) that are Associated to a particular tag (Topic), but there currently isn't a clear way to create different types of Associations in or other similar tagging services that I'm aware of. Topic Maps might be a great way to express these additional relationships! As for performance, there would have to be a way to dynamically generate and update maps (or quickly post-process). I don't think we'd really know what performance impacts there would be unless we try! If you pursue Topic Maps for tagging services, please let me know! I'd be very interested in it.