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XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web Paperback – July 26, 2002

ISBN-13: 078-5342749601 ISBN-10: 0201749602 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (July 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201749602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201749601
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,191,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The explosive growth of the World Wide Web is fueling the need for a new generation of technologies for managing information flow, data, and knowledge. This developer's overview and how-to book provides a complete introduction and application guide to the world of topic maps, a powerful new means of navigating the World Wide Web's vast sea of information.

With contributed chapters written by today's leading topic map experts, XML Topic Maps is designed to be a "living document" for managing information across the Web's interconnected resources. The book begins with a broad introduction and a tutorial on topic maps and XTM technology. The focus then shifts to strategies for creating and deploying the technology. Throughout, the latest theoretical perspectives are offered, alongside discussions of the challenges developers will face as the Web continues to evolve. Looking forward, the book's concluding chapters provide a road map to the future of topic map technology and the Semantic Web in general.

Specific subjects explored 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

Featuring the latest perspectives from today's leading topic map experts, XML Topic Maps provides the tools, techniques, and resources necessary to plot the changing course of information management across the World Wide Web.


About the Author

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 entitled The Scholar's Companion(R) 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, 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 coauthor of the XTM 1.0 DTD and a cofounder of the GooseWorks project for creating open source topic map tools. He can be reached at


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
In order to fully appreciate this book you will need a good working knowledge of XML and associated W3G documents, and more than a casual exposure to knowledge management. The first four chapters are a blend of historical information about XTM (XML topic maps) and fundamental technical information that describes design rationale and components of XTM (which is a separate open source initiative that is based on the ISO/IEC 13250 Topic Maps standard).
Chapters 5, 6 and 7 dive into the mechanics of XTM and knowledge management, and requires the prerequisite knowledge I cited above. This part of the book is not an easy read. This is not a reflection of the authors/editors ability to write as much as it is of the nature of the material. Knowledge management and development issues are given both wide and deep treatment in these chapters. Chapters 8 and 9 go deeper into the XML family as they relate to XTM (with an emphasis on XSLT), and address creating and maintaining sites that use XTM/XSLT as the core of a knowledge management strategy.
Related topics are covered in Chapters 10 through 13, including open source tools, RDF (widely used as a mechanism for weblogs and blogs that are gaining popularity), and semantic networks (intelligent agent-based systems). The final two chapters tie together the preceding material with a chapter devoted to topic map fundamentals for knowledge representation and a chapter about topic maps in knowledge organizations.
If you are interested in using an XML-like technology as the foundation of a knowledge management strategy, or are interested in learning about new directions in the integration of web technologies and knowledge management this book is ideal. For the technical reader the code examples, pointers to open source and commercial solutions and the website that supports this book (using topic maps, of course), this book is an excellent way to leverage knowledge of XML and use it to develop knowledge management solutions.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Since Tim Berners-Lee wrote of the Semantic Web
several years ago, there has been speculation about
how we might embed meaning within Web pages, as
opposed to merely displaying content. To answer this,
XML offers the separation of content from display.
From its user definable tags, different user
communities can define their own sets of tags and
associate meaning with those. XML offers the
infrastructure. But it is still fairly low level.
Assembler language, as it were, compared to more
powerful languages like C or Java.
So if XML is like an assembler, what is the analog of
C? This book puts forward XTM, XML Topic Maps, as the
answer. It consists of 17 chapters by different
authors, outlining various aspects of XTM. The
chapters can be divided into two types.
One type has nitty gritty explanations, replete with
examples of XTM written in XML. If you are a
programmer, these chapters are for you. There are web
sites listed with XTM definitions that you can
incorporate into your XTM, just like using standard
namespaces available on the web in normal XML.
The other chapters deal with the much deeper and
harder problem of how XTM may be used for Knowledge
Organisation and Knowledge Representation. They are
high level and abstruse, edging up to the issues of
semiotics and artificial intelligence.
As a side note: In the XTM examples and
implementations given, I was surprised to see no
mention of altavista's graphical representation of
search results, circa 1998. This was not in XTM, but
it conveyed the flavour. What happened was that if you
searched for, say, 'tornado', the results would appear
as a graph.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Tuohy on September 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for anyone interested in Topic Maps. It would certainly pay to have some familiarity with XML, URIs, etc, because otherwise the examples will be hard going. If you do know XML, then you'll be away, because XTM is a very small and simple vocabulary.

Each chapter is by a different author, and each one comes at the subject from a different angle. Topics covered include tutorials for using the XTM specification, topic maps for website Information Architecture, Knowledge Representation, Ontological Engineering, e-learning, visualisation, relationship to RDF, information about various software implementations (a bit dated now, but still valuable), as well as sample topic maps and XSLT code.

Because of the diverse - even contradictory - viewpoints, the book as a whole provides an excellent overview of the field.
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