Archive for the ‘Subject Locators’ Category

Subject Identification Patterns

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Does that sound like a good book title?

Thinking that since everyone is recycling old stuff under the patterns rubric that topic maps may as well jump on the bandwagon.

Instead of the three amigos (was that a movie?) we could have the dirty dozen honchos (or was that another movie?). I don’t get out much these days so I would probably need some help with current cultural references.

This ties into Lars Heuer’s effort to distinguish between Playboy Playmates and Astronauts, while trying to figure out why birds keep, well, let’s just say he has to wash his hair a lot.

When you have an entry from DBpedia, what do you have to know to identify it? Its URI is one thing but I rarely encounter URIs while shopping. (Or playmates for that matter.)

Topic Maps Gospel

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

We are all familiar with the topic maps gospel that emphasizes that subjects can have multiple identifications. And unlike other semantic technologies, we can distinguish between identifiers and locators.

There is no shortage of data integration and other IT projects that would benefit from hearing the topic maps gospel.

So, why hasn’t the gospel of topic maps spread? I suspect it is because semantic integration is only one need among many.

For example, enabling federated, global debate is ok but I need relevant documents for an IRS auditor. Who is waiting for an answer. Can we do that first?

Meeting user needs as the users understand them may explain the success of NetworkedPlanet. They have used topic maps to enhance Sharepoint, something users see a need for.

We need to preserve the semantic integration that defines topic maps but let’s express it in terms of meeting the needs others have articulated. In the context of their projects.

My first target? (First question you should ask when anyone has a call to action.) Next generation library catalog projects. I am creating a list of them now. Will lurk for a while to learn their culture but will be spreading the topic maps gospel.

The conversation will naturally develop to include the treatment of relationships (associations in our speak), roles, and in some cases, interchange of the resulting information (when interchange syntax questions arise).

That sounds like a good way to spread the good news of topic maps to me.