Topic Navigation Maps...

Steven R. Newcomb srn at
Tue May 25 15:01:55 BST 1999

> From: "Guy Murphy" <guy-murphy at>
> Date: Tue, 25 May 1999 03:55:06 +0100

> Is anyone aware of any Topic Navigation Maps out there, as per the
> ISO 13250 spec?

Yes and no.  For example, Michel Biezunski (mb at, has for several years provided topic maps on the
CD-ROMs of the SGML, SGML Europe, XML, and XML Europe conferences.
Unfortunately, these don't meet the spec as it was ultimately adopted
(adoption occurred only a few weeks ago).  There are commercial
projects underway now to create 13250-conforming topic maps, but, as
far as I know, no such publicly available topic map exists at this
moment.  Last I heard, Michel is working to provide a rework of part
of the last XML Europe conference's proceedings in the form of a
13250-conforming topic map.  If you indicate that you need access to
it, maybe he'll make it available.

> I've read some introductory material, and I'm grasping the overview
> OK. Now reading through the spec, the nitty gritties just aren't
> falling into place for me. I'm not sure they're going to in any
> timely fashion without a gander at an existing topic map.

> Oh, and while I'm begging pointers, if anybody has a favourite
> resource on HyTime Linking (something descrete, I've seen the
> voluminous refs, and they scare me) to recommend my life would I
> think be complete :)

If you haven't read ISO standards before, let me warn you that they
are not written as tutorial documents.  They are written as legal
documents that are intended to constrain, in this case, software
system vendors so that the outputs of their various programs will be
usable as inputs to the programs of their competitors.  In other
words, they are not known for their understandability and they are
not especially useful for instructional purposes.

Because of popular demand, the pressure of major early adopters, and
the fact that there's no book about this standard yet, Michel
Biezunski and I are repeating our very-well-received two-day Topic Map
Workshop during the week of June 21, under the ISOGEN/DataChannel
banner.  There are still seats available in both sessions:

  June 21-22 in the Seattle, Washington, USA area, and 
  June 24-25 in the Dallas, Texas USA area.  

To register, contact Michele Budz, michele at, +1 214 953
0004.  The tuition charge is USD1400.

The first day of each two-day session puts all the pieces together:
topic characteristics, scopes, merging topic maps, topic map
self-documentation, etc. etc.

The second day concerns itself mainly with the foundational concepts
needed to understand and implement topic maps applications: linking,
addressing, the inheritance of information architectures, etc.

Demonstrations and examples are used in both days.


Steven R. Newcomb, President, TechnoTeacher, Inc.
srn at

voice: +1 972 231 4098 (at ISOGEN: +1 214 953 0004 x137)
fax    +1 972 994 0087 (at ISOGEN: +1 214 953 3152)

3615 Tanner Lane
Richardson, Texas 75082-2618 USA

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