Knowledge Management Using Topic Maps

Sunday 23rd of September 2018 10:03:35 AM

  Toggle Advanced Options is a knowledge management system for personal use based on the concept of topic maps.

My name is Brett Kromkamp and I developed the back-end, the topic maps engine, and front-end web application (for myself, scratching the proverbial itch and also providing an example of eating one's own dog food. I used to have a blog, but I prefer a topic maps-based approach for organizing my principles, ideas, current research topics, projects, and learning experiences. In that respect, this is my commonplace book. is hosted on a 256 slice over at Rackspace running Ubuntu. Furthermore, the application is built on top of a typical LAMP-stack in conjunction with the PHP Zend Framework. On the client-side, the JavaScript library of choice is jQuery.

The web application is still under active development and a lot of functionality is still pending implementation.

Design: the role of finding the best way to serve a purpose while respecting some constraints. You have to be creative to deal with the constraints while keeping the purpose.



TopicDB is a topic map-based graph (NoSQL) database.

Its (MIT-licensed) source code is available on GitHub and the accompanying Python package on Python Package Index (PyPI):

Story Engine

Story Engine is a collection of domain models and corresponding persistence-related command classes together with an accompanying set of API endpoints for the retrieval of a semantic description of 3D environments.

Its (MIT-licensed) source code is available on GitHub:

Web and Mobile

  • StoryTechnologies is a topic maps-based web application for organizing and structuring narrative content. The focus will be on using a bespoke topic maps engine in combination with a narrative-oriented user-interface pulling together all of the elements that make up story, including plot/structure, characterization, and setting (story world) with the goal of creating a uniquely powerful piece of story writing software. Initially, the intention is to rapidly experiment with "developing" a series of short stories to gain experience in the actual process of writing stories. Take a look at the following article to get a better understanding of the scene browser: Interactive Scene Browser for Stories.

You can’t have strategy without tactics… if you do it’s called dreaming. You can’t have tactics without strategy… if you do it’s called chaos.

App Experience = (Brand + Channels + Service + Devices + Functionality + Content) / Time.


  • NotesMappr (soon to be renamed NotesMapper for Android) is PolishedCode's semantic note taking app for Google’s Android platform. In other words, NotesMappr (see screen shot, below) is note taking that fits your brain.

Main benefits

  1. NotesMappr can be thought of as the textual equivalent of mind maps and/or concept maps. In a nutshell, NotesMappr's powerful underlying data structure, topic maps, makes it possible to link your notes in any way imaginable.
  2. Furthermore, NotesMappr's integration with Freebase makes it very easy to complement and enhance your own notes with comprehensive and reliable external articles and (associated) images.
  3. Finally, a set of notes in and of itself is a valuable thing. However, said set of notes becomes more valuable if the notes themselves are related in an appropriate manner. In addition, context enables both easy and quick discovery of information saving you time. Furthermore, context enables you to expand your knowledge without the risk of your knowledge becoming disjointed or fragmented.

Main features

  1. NotesMappr provides you with both the ability to establish meaningful relationships between notes and subsequently navigate said notes in a very straightforward manner.
  2. NotesMappr enables you to complement and enhance your own notes with articles and images from Freebase, an open Creative Commons licensed repository of structured data of almost 22 million entities.
  3. In addition to (formal) associations, NotesMappr also features "WikiWords" (words with multiple capital letters in the body of a note) to create and link notes within their context. NotesMappr automatically turns said WikiWords into links to other notes - just tap a link to create the new note.

Now, imagine studying with this app at your disposal. Or researching. Or generally just compiling notes on whatever topic that interests you. Just think for a moment how useful this app would be. What are you waiting for? Get NotesMappr for your Android device, now. It’s free.

Miscellaneous programming projects (with source code)


Rich Internet Applications (RIA)


Google Android




Vector Graphics Scripting

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Data visualization

Knowledge management

  • Creating and discovering
  • Sharing and learning
  • Organizing and managing

Conceptual frameworks and patterns

Marketing / Business

3D graphics


Interesting links

Languages, frameworks, and miscellaneous bookmarks

Legacy applications and web sites

Programming languages

Frameworks and platforms

Operating systems

Ubuntu Linux


Quick comment@09-01-02 21:19:19 by Brett Kromkamp

I'm just starting to fill in the blanks... Be patient!

Current interests@14-04-08 20:49:46 by Brett Kromkamp

My current interests include:

Over the next couple of days/weeks I'll be adding content related to the above.

Project ideas@14-04-08 20:50:05 by Brett Kromkamp

Created a topic to keep track of some of my projects.

Google Android@14-04-08 20:50:18 by Brett Kromkamp

I believe that Google's Android platform will take off in 2010 based on the number and quality of new devices that are being launched or will be launched shortly. Within the next couple of weeks I will start developing an application for the Android platform.

Research topics@14-04-08 20:50:31 by Brett Kromkamp

I've added a new page to capture the set of topics that I am currently researching: Current research topics.