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Making topic maps more colourful
The new ISO standard ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Maps defines a model and architecture for the semantic structuring of link networks. Dubbed the “GPS of the information universe”, topic maps will become the solution for organizing and navigating large and continuously growing information pools, and provide a “bridge” between the domains of knowledge representation and information management. This paper presents several technical issues of which are of great interest when applying topic maps to real world applications. The main focus of the paper is the introduction of “topic map templates” – a semi-official term coined by the standards' committee for a concept that the authors argue is a necessary but as yet unstandardized addition to the basic model. Furthermore association taxonomies, class hierarchies, and consistency constraints of topic maps are presented and discussed.