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Topic Maps as Maps

By murray - Posted on 18 July 2009

Robert Barta has done something very cool with a topic map of his for mapreduce. He has used the TM as a source to go out onto the web and to build up a corpus from which terms are extracted and their semantic distances are calculated. These are then plotted onto a relief map where altitude is represented by the distance from the most popular term, "web". The result is quite a funky looking visualization where like terms are grouped by the topography as well as proximity. The next step for rho is to project the semantic terms into the topics themselves - resulting in a new way to visualize a data space based on the subjects.

I think that this is an important step for Topic Maps - combining the "hand crafted" subject-centric aspects of TMs with some smart algorithms will take us to the next level.