Archive for the ‘Bookmarks’ Category

Topic Maps and Bookmarks

Friday, April 5th, 2013

A comment recently suggested web bookmarks as an ideal topic map use case for most users.

There has been work along those lines. I haven’t found/remembered every paper/proposal so chime in the ones I miss.

The one that first came to mind was Thomas Passin’s Browser bookmark management with Topic Maps at Extreme Markup in 2003.


Making effective use of large collections of browser bookmarks is difficult. The user faces major challenges in finding specific entries, in finding specific or general kinds of entries, and in finding related references. In addition, the ability to add annotations would be very valuable.

This paper discusses a practical model for a bookmark collection that has been organized into nested folders. It is shown convincingly that the folder structure in no way implies a hierarchical taxonomy, nor does it reflect a faceted classification scheme. The model is presented as a topic map.

A number of simple enhancements to the basic information are described, including a very modest amount of semantic analysis on the bookmark titles. An approach for preserving user-entered annotations across bookmark updates is delineated. Some issues of user interface are discussed. In toto, the model, the computed enrichment, and the user interface work together to provide effective collocation and navigation capabilities.

A bookmark application that embodies this model has been implemented entirely within a standard browser The topic map engine is written entirely in javascript. The utility of this application, which the author uses daily, is remarkable considering the simplicity of the underlying model. It is planned to give a live demonstration during the presentation.

Then there was Tobias Hofmann and Martin Pradella, BookMap — A Topic Map Based Web Application for Organizing Bookmarks. (TMRA 2007)


This talk proposes a basic Ontology for use in Topic Maps storing semantic information on bookmark collections. Furthermore, we introduce a data model allowing to implement such a system on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) platform, extended with the Cake-PHP framework. A prototype has been developed as proof of concept, where the use of AJAX and drag and drop capabilities in the browser resulted in a good user experience during a preliminary user evaluation.


Toward a Topic Maps Amanuensis by Jack Park (2007)


The CALO project at SRI International provides unique opportunities to explore the boundaries of knowledge representation and organization in a learning environment. A goal reported here is to develop methods for assistance in the preparation of documents through a topic map framework populated by combinations of machine learning and recorded social gestures. This work in progress continues the evolution of Tagomizer, our social bookmarking application, adding features necessary for annotations of websites beyond simple bookmark-like tagging, including the creation of new subjects in the topic map. We report on the coupling of Tagomizer with a Java wiki engine, and show how this new framework will serve as a platform for CALO’s DocAssist application.

More recently:

ToMaBoM, Topic Map Bookmark Manager – Firefox Extension by Dieter Steiner (last updated 2012-11-05)


  • Create and Safe Weblinks in a Topic Map
  • Organize and Mange Entrys
  • Change Topic Map Meta-Model
  • Safe copy of Webpages locally and access them from within the extension
  • Import and Export the Topic Map as XML Topic Map

I need to mention Gabriel Hopmans is working on a topic map bookmark app but I don’t have a link to share. Gabriel?

Over the weekend, read up on the older proposals and take a look at ToMaBoM.

What do you like/dislike, would like to see, not just there but in any topic map bookmark app?

PS: I am wiling to bet that curated bookmarks, delivered to users (TM based searching), will be more popular than users doing the work themselves.