Addison-Wesley Professional has announced the release of XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web, described as a "complete introduction and application guide to the world of topic maps." Edited by Jack Park and Sam Hunting, the book contains contributions from sixteen authorities on topic maps. The volume "introduces the topic maps paradigm, global federated knowledge interchange, the topic map standards and specifications, the basics of XTM markup, Published Subject Indicators, ontological engineering, open source topic map software, topic map visualization, topic maps and RDF, semantic networks, and knowledge organization and representation -- all with a wealth of technical detail. Originally designed to handle the construction of indexes, glossaries, thesauri, and tables of contents, [Topic Maps] can provide a foundation for the Semantic Web. They can serve to represent information currently stored as database schemas (relational and object). Where databases only capture the relations between information objects, topic maps also allow these objects to be connected to the various places where they occur. Knowledge bases can be designed that not only relate concepts together but also can point to the resources relevant to each concept."
Bibliographic information: XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web. By Jack Park (Editor) and Sam Hunting (Technical Editor). With a Foreword by Douglas C. Engelbart. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley Professional, [July 16,] 2002. ISBN: 0-201-74960-2. xxix + 608 pages, 4 appendices, index, glossary.
Publisher's description: "With contributed chapters written by today's leading Web experts, XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web is designed to be a 'living document' for managing information across the Web's interconnected resources, with a companion Web site and discussion forums... Beginning with a broad introduction and tutorial of topic maps and XTM technology, the book then lays out strategies for creating and deploying the technology. Along the way the latest theoretical perspectives are offered along with a discussion of the challenges developers will face as the Web continues to evolve and develop. Looking forward, the book's concluding chapters provide a road map to the future of topic map technology and the semantic Web in general. Further topics covered in detail include:
- Topic mapping and the XTM specification
- Using XML Topic Maps to build knowledge repositories
- Knowledge Representation, ontological engineering, and topic maps
- Transforming an XTM document into a Web page
- Creating enterprise Web sites with topic maps and XSLT
- Open source topic map software
- XTM, RDF, and topic maps
- Semantic networks and knowledge organization
- Using topic maps in education
- Topic maps, pedagogy, and future perspectives
About Topic Maps:
"Topic maps were originally designed to handle the construction of indexes, glossaries, thesauri, and tables of contents, but their applicability extends far beyond that domain. Research is showing that topic maps -- together with the Resource Description Framework (RDF) -- can provide a foundation for the Semantic Web. They can serve to represent information currently stored as database schemas (relational and object). Where databases only capture the relations between information objects, topic maps also allow these objects to be connected to the various places where they occur. Knowledge bases can be designed that not only relate concepts together but also can point to the resources relevant to each concept..."[from Michel Biezunski, eTopicality website]
"Topic maps are a lightweight information overlay above information resources. They work like a 'table of context' that shows how the subjects of your information assets are related, and the types of relationships they have."
"The topic maps paradigm enables Global Federated Knowledge Interchange -- a concept that should be important to you if you are a large information owner with diversely structured information assets and international reach."
"Topic maps are Global because they can be multilingual and multinational. The names of subjects in the topic map can be scoped by language, so that English speakers see an English map, and Spanish speakers a Spanish map. The Published Subject Indicator (PSI) mechanism allows communities of interest to come to agreement about their definitions of terms, and to post those definitions on the net in a known and stable format, so that a doctor in France can share a prescription with a doctor in the United States using common terminology."
"Topic maps are Federated because information resources retain their "sovereignty," though integrated for users by the map. Because the topic map is an information overlay, resources do not have to be converted to topic map format. Because topic maps do not impose a single inflexible ontology or schema, subjects that all information resources have in common will be mapped as one; yet value added by individual information resources will retain its uniqueness."
"Topic maps enable Knowledge Interchange. Knowledge -- leaving the exact definition of knowledge to philosophers -- exists where people have conversations about subjects and the relationships between subjects: exactly the information that topic maps are designed to capture and interchange." [eTopicality website]
Chapter titles (see details from the TOC linked at AW):
- Let There Be Light.
- Introduction to the Topic Map Paradigm.
- A Perspective on the Quest for Global Knowledge Interchange.
- The Rise and Rise of Topic Maps: 1999-2002.
- Topic Maps from Representation to Identity.
- 'You Say to-mah-to' : How to Start Topic Mapping Right Away With the XTM Specification.
- Knowledge Representation, Ontological Engineering, and Topic Maps.
- Topic Maps in Life Sciences.
- Creating and Maintaining Enterprise Web Sites with Topic Maps and XSLT.
- Open Source Topic Map Software.
- Topic Maps Visualization.
- Topic Maps and RDF.
- Topic Maps and Semantic Networks.
- Topic Map Fundamentals for Knowledge Representation.
- Topic Maps in Knowledge Organization.
- Prediction: A Profound Paradigm Shift.
- Topic Maps, Semantic Web, and Education.
About the editors:
"Jack Park is a founding member of the XTM Topic Maps in XML authoring group. He was a senior scientist with VerticalNet Solutions in Palo Alto, CA, where he was actively engaged in the development of knowledge representation systems in support of online B2B communities. His discovery program The Scholar's Companion has been used to develop knowledge bases in advanced research on hyperbaric immunology. He is the lead developer of an XML Topic Maps-based knowledge management system on the Web at http://nexist.sourceforge.net, and is active in the development of Open Hyperdocument Systems technology with the Bootstrap Alliance."
Sam Hunting is the principal of eTopicality, Inc., a consultancy whose service offerings include topic maps, content analysis, and DTD development. He was a founding member of TopicMaps.Org, which developed the XML Topic Maps (XTM) specification. He is a co-author of the XTM 1.0 DTD and a co-founder of the GooseWorks project for creating open source topic map tools.
- Book description from AW website
- Book description from eTopicality, Inc.
- XML Topic Maps (XTM) 1.0. TopicMaps.Org Specification.
- "A Perspective On The Quest For Global Knowledge Interchange." Sample Chapter 3. By Steven R. Newcomb (with some material cowritten with Michel Biezunski) [cache]
- "Getting Started with Topic Map Applications." AUGI 2002 Montréal, Canada.
- eTopicality, Inc.
- "(XML) Topic Maps" - Main reference page.