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XML Topic Maps: Creating and Using Topic Maps for the Web by Jack Park, Sam Hunting

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Why Topic Maps?

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 SoupTopic Maps
TasteKnowledge
Can of tomato soupTopic map document
Directions on the canProcessing 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 ...

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