Topic Maps is a standard for the representation and interchange of knowledge, with an emphasis on the findability of information - wikipedia
Topic maps were originally developed in the late 1990s as a way to represent back-of-the-book index structures so that multiple indexes from different sources could be merged. However, the developers quickly realized that with a little additional generalization, they could create a meta-model with potentially far wider application. The ISO standard is formally known as ISO/IEC 13250:2003.
A topic map represents information using: * __topics__, representing any concept, from people, countries, and organizations to software modules, individual files, and events, * __associations__, representing hypergraph relationships between topics, and * __occurrences__, representing information resources relevant to a particular topic.
Topic Maps are similar to concept maps and mind maps in many respects, though only Topic Maps are ISO standards. Topic Maps are a form of semantic web technology similar to RDF.
# Ontology and merging Topics, associations, and occurrences can all be typed, where the types must be defined by the one or more creators of the topic map(s). The definitions of allowed types is known as the Ontology of the topic map - wikipedia
Topic Maps explicitly support the concept of merging of identity between multiple topics or topic maps. Furthermore, because ontologies are topic maps themselves, they can also be merged thus allowing for the automated integration of information from diverse sources into a coherent new topic map. Features such as subject identifiers (URI (Uniform Resource Identifier)s given to topics) and PSIs (''Published Subject Indicators'') are used to control merging between differing taxonomies. Scoping on names provides a way to organise the various names given to a particular topic by different sources.