View From Above
It's easier to look at your content from above and point to it, rather than modifying it from inside. The Topic Maps approach we use is based on the ability to describe information semantics regardless of whether the metadata pre-exist or not.
Topics maps is an approach based on an international standard (ISO/IEC 13250) that we have contributed to create.
Pointing to the content from outside makes it possible to manage the information semantics independently of how the information is presented, structured, and how it is described.
Topic maps are similar to back-of-the-book indexes where entries describe concepts and list their locations (traditionally, using page numbers).
Each topic can have multiple names, in various languages, and can be related to other topics.
Topic mapping can be used to leverage taxonomies and ontologies, thesaurii, dictionaries, product or subject catalogs. It is a powerful approach that gives its users flexibility and freedom that is much more powerful than relying on predefined vocabularies. It is infinitely extensible and preserves the necessary complexities and ambiguities of information.