The purpose of topic maps is to interchange knowledge. Knowledge interchange may seem hard (knowledge is seen as subjective or as existing only in the mind), but in fact it can be approached pragmatically.
Let's make an analogy between tomato soup and topic maps.
|Tomato Soup||Topic Maps|
|Can of tomato soup||Topic map document|
|Directions on the can||Processing methods|
Thus, although “taste” is often regarded as very subjective, in fact we exchange it every day, via cans of tomato soup. Subjectivity holds as well for “knowledge,” which we can exchange with topic maps. As the taste of tomato soup is interchanged in cans, so knowledge is interchanged in topic map documents. As you follow the directions on the side of the can ...