Topic map standards and specifications have been written or are being written by the following organizations:
 Standards wonks try to reserve the word standard for the work product of an international standards body, like ISO, reserving the word specification for the work products of other bodies. The distinction can be meaningful since standards have the force of law in certain jurisdictions.
Our story begins with the ISO since a topic map interchange syntax was first formalized by ISO standard 13250 (now known by the catchy acronym HyTM, for HyTime Topic Maps) in December 1999. Soon after the release of HyTM, its editors and other interested parties formed TopicMaps.Org