Ontologies and Topic Maps

Aside from their role as indexes to information resources, topic maps embody knowledge. It is a great advantage for a designer of topic maps to capitalize on this aspect. A semantically rich and correct knowledge representation enhances the value of a topic map. Because an ontology is a knowledge representation, we assert that it plays an important role in topic map design.


An ontology is a specification or “formalization of a conceptualization” [Gruber 1993, p. 199]. Alternatively, an ontology is a “logical theory which gives an explicit, partial account of a conceptualization, designed in order to be shared by more agents for various purposes” [Guarino and Giaretta 1995]. A conceptualization is a set of ...

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