NOTE 1 This clause defines the scope of this International Standard. It should not be confused with the concept of .scope. defined in 3.16, which only applies in the context of topic maps.
Topic maps enable multiple, concurrent views of sets of information objects. The structural nature of these views is unconstrained; they may reflect an object oriented approach, or they may be relational, hierarchical, ordered, unordered, or any combination of the foregoing.
Moreover, an unlimited number of topic maps may be overlaid on a given set of information resources.
Topic maps can be used:
- to qualify the content and/or data contained in information objects as topics to enable navigational tools such as indexes, cross-references, citation systems, or glossaries;
- to link topics together in such a way as to enable navigation between them.
This capability can be used for virtual document assembly, and for creating thesaurus-like interfaces to corpora, knowledge bases, etc.;
- to filter an information set to create views adapted to specific users or purposes. For example, such filtering can aid in the management of multilingual documents, management of access modes depending on security criteria, delivery of partial views depending on user profiles and/or knowledge domains, etc.;
- to structure unstructured information objects, or to facilitate the creation of topic-oriented user interfaces that provide the effect of merging unstructured information bases with structured ones.
The overlay mechanism of topic maps can be considered as a kind of external markup mechanism, in the sense that an arbitrary structure is imposed on the information without altering its original form.
This International Standard does not require or disallow the use of any scheme for addressing information objects. Except for the requirement that topic map documents themselves be expressed using SGML (or WebSGML) and HyTime, using the syntax described herein, neither does it require or disallow the use of any notation used to express information.