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TOPIC MAPS *
Structure and relationships of information
* DISCLAIMER

We are new to topic maps, we're
      just finding our way
Where do our
information-structuring
metaphors come from?
Taxonomies
A hierarchical system of
classification developed by Carl von
Linné (Linnaeus) for biological
classification.

...
Taxonomies
Each term in a taxonomy has one or
more parent-child relationship often
expressed in a tree structure or
dendog...
Folksonomies

Not a traditional data structuring
method. First coined by Thomas
Vander Wal (on the 24th of July
2004 to be...
An example

Show me a picture of the Paris Hilton
A picture of Paris Hilton
Hmm, not what I was looking for

OK, I meant: show me a picture of the Paris Hilton Hotel
Finally! A picture of Paris Hilton
(the hotel)




http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=paris%20hilton%20hotel&um=1&ie=UTF-...
Taxonomies and folksonomies are bad
at describing the type of 'thing'




Why? Because they cannot capture the relationshi...
Faceted classification

Originally conceived by Shiyali
Ramamrita Ranganathan in the
1930s.

Facets can be thought of as
m...
Ranganthan's faceted classification model:

Personality – the primary subject of the document (the key facet)

Matter – th...
The classification of a book on Norwegian rural
architecture in the 17th century might look like this:

Personality – arch...
So where do Topic maps
       come in?
Time for a slightly confusing diagram
Topic maps

Topic maps are an ISO standard
notation, created around 2000.

They are used to richly describe
relationships ...
http://www.slideshare.net/hendrikthomas/hendrik-thomas-semantic-web-topic-maps-2009
http://www.slideshare.net/hendrikthomas/hendrik-thomas-semantic-web-topic-maps-2009
Topic maps

Advantages:
Improve the findability of
information, since they
consistently describe the
relationships between...
Topic maps support natural search
queries
e.g. "show me all articles about Paris Hilton,
the celebrity, staying at Paris H...
Unfortunately, our document-centric structure
doesn't support that query...
                                        Google...
Topic maps in use

The Norwegian Government website:
http://www.regjeringen.no/en.html

Visit Norway:
http://www.visitnorw...
References and further reading:

Introduction to Topic Maps
– Hendrik Thomas, 2009
http://www.slideshare.net/hendrikthomas...
Thanks

  Ben.Gilmore@LBi.com
Stephen.Hellens@LBi.com
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An introduction to Topic maps: Structure and relationships of information

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Two user experience professionals, based at LBi London, present their current understanding of topic maps. Many thanks to Kal Ahmed and Graham Moore for pointing us in the right direction

Published in: Technology
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An introduction to Topic maps: Structure and relationships of information

  1. 1. TOPIC MAPS * Structure and relationships of information
  2. 2. * DISCLAIMER We are new to topic maps, we're just finding our way
  3. 3. Where do our information-structuring metaphors come from?
  4. 4. Taxonomies A hierarchical system of classification developed by Carl von Linné (Linnaeus) for biological classification. Originally set forth in his Systema Naturae , 1735. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Linnaeus
  5. 5. Taxonomies Each term in a taxonomy has one or more parent-child relationship often expressed in a tree structure or dendogram Advantages: Excellent for one-to-one classification and filing of items into a system. Hierarchy of information and relationship is implicit. Disadvantages: Items can only be filed in one location. Therefore, whoever does the classification decides where something 'lives'
  6. 6. Folksonomies Not a traditional data structuring method. First coined by Thomas Vander Wal (on the 24th of July 2004 to be precise). A folksonomy is a classification system based on collaborative user tagging. Advantages: Extensible and flexible. Allows multiple users to define their own relationship to things. Disadvantages: No way of being clear what someone else's definition means. Needs a critical mass of interaction to be useful.
  7. 7. An example Show me a picture of the Paris Hilton
  8. 8. A picture of Paris Hilton
  9. 9. Hmm, not what I was looking for OK, I meant: show me a picture of the Paris Hilton Hotel
  10. 10. Finally! A picture of Paris Hilton (the hotel) http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=paris%20hilton%20hotel&um=1&ie=UTF- 8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi
  11. 11. Taxonomies and folksonomies are bad at describing the type of 'thing' Why? Because they cannot capture the relationships between 'things'
  12. 12. Faceted classification Originally conceived by Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan in the 1930s. Facets can be thought of as multiple axes along which documents or information can be classified. Advantages: Flexible, allows information to be found through multiple routes. Disadvantages: Can add extra complexity and visual noise, and still doesn't describe the relationship between 'things'.
  13. 13. Ranganthan's faceted classification model: Personality – the primary subject of the document (the key facet) Matter – the material or substance the document deals with Energy – the processes or activities the document describes Space – the locations described by the document Time – the time period described by the document http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/ranganathan_for_ias
  14. 14. The classification of a book on Norwegian rural architecture in the 17th century might look like this: Personality – architecture Matter – wood Energy – design Space – Norway Time – 17th century http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/ranganathan_for_ias
  15. 15. So where do Topic maps come in? Time for a slightly confusing diagram
  16. 16. Topic maps Topic maps are an ISO standard notation, created around 2000. They are used to richly describe relationships between 'things' rather then between documents or pages. http://www.ontopia.net/topicmaps/materials/tm-vs-thesauri. html
  17. 17. http://www.slideshare.net/hendrikthomas/hendrik-thomas-semantic-web-topic-maps-2009
  18. 18. http://www.slideshare.net/hendrikthomas/hendrik-thomas-semantic-web-topic-maps-2009
  19. 19. Topic maps Advantages: Improve the findability of information, since they consistently describe the relationships between things, as well as the things themselves. Disadvantages: Not widely used or understood. Large scale documentation is problematic
  20. 20. Topic maps support natural search queries e.g. "show me all articles about Paris Hilton, the celebrity, staying at Paris Hilton, the hotel"
  21. 21. Unfortunately, our document-centric structure doesn't support that query... Google news search results: Paris Hilton staying at the Paris Hilton
  22. 22. Topic maps in use The Norwegian Government website: http://www.regjeringen.no/en.html Visit Norway: http://www.visitnorway.com/ Q: Why are Topic maps so popular in Norway? A: Graham Moore's (topic map guru) wife is Norwegian
  23. 23. References and further reading: Introduction to Topic Maps – Hendrik Thomas, 2009 http://www.slideshare.net/hendrikthomas/hendrik-thomas-semantic-web-topic-maps-2009 The TAO of Topic Maps - Finding the Way in the Age of Infoglut – Steve Pepper, 2002 http://www.ontopia.net/topicmaps/materials/tao.html Metadata? Thesauri? Taxonomies? Topic Maps!: Making sense of it all – Lars Marius Garshol, 2004 http://www.ontopia.net/topicmaps/materials/tm-vs-thesauri.html Ranganathan for IAs – Mike Steckel, 2002 http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/ranganathan_for_ias
  24. 24. Thanks Ben.Gilmore@LBi.com Stephen.Hellens@LBi.com

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