Topic Maps as a virtual observatory tool

Ashish Mahabal, S. G. Djorgovski, Robert Brunner, Roy Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


One major component of the VO will be catalogs measuring gigabytes and terrabytes if not more. Some mechanism like XML will be used for structuring the information. However, such mechanisms are not good for information retrieval on their own. For retrieval we use queries. Topic Maps that have started becoming popular recently are excellent for segregating information that results from a query. A Topic Map is a structured network of hyperlinks above an information pool. Different Topic Maps can form different layers above the same information pool and provide us with different views of it. This facilitates in being able to ask exact questions, aiding us in looking for gold needles in the proverbial haystack. Here we will discuss the specifics of what Topic Maps are and how they can be implemented within the VO framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
EventAstronomical Data Analysis - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2001Aug 3 2001


  • Knowledge Organization
  • Large Datasets
  • Semantic Nets
  • Topic Map
  • Virtual Observatory
  • XML

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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