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Topic Map

What is a topic map?

A topic map is a means of organizing thoughts and is similar to a concept map or a mind map. A topic map has three components: A topic refers to a conceptualization of something, such as marketing fields, technology, etc. An association indicates a hypergraph connection or association with the defined topic. An occurrence is an information reference that is applicable for the topic at hand.

Uses for a topic map

There are various instances where one can use a topic map such as for a business plan. Publications can be associated with magazines, and perhaps have an association with education if it is a children’s magazine. This helps visualize the entire concept of the topic and highlights important key areas and how the various topics and associations and occurrences intertwine.

How to make a topic map

To make a topic map requires a pen and paper. For a collaborative meeting however, a white board or smart board will suffice. Topic words are written on the board, circles are drawn around topic words, and lines are drawn connecting them to associating topics or words. Following this, lines are drawn to dots which represent occurrences. The time it takes to do a topic map depends on how clear the plan in the mind is. It often takes a few hours to discuss and list the various components on the topic map.

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