Subject-centric applications: toward subject-centric computing

Recently we added a small framework that allows us to build/use subject-centric applications in Ontopedia. Within traditional paradigm of application-centric computing, we have to start an application (or go to some domain/function specific website) and then we can change application/website context. Within subject-centric environment, we can select a subject and then we can have access to various applications/functions that can be used with the subject in context.

As an example, we implemented basic subject-centric application Company headquarters map. It can be used for various companies. This app tries to find a geo point of company headquarters and map it using Google Maps service.

Live example: Tibco Software Headquarters on a map

Subject-centric apps can use information recorded in Ontopedia knowledge map and provide rich, user friendly interactivity. They also can use external data sources and submit pieces of information to Ontopedia knowledge map.

If we have just one application, this is not too exciting. But we are talking about a framework that allows us to integrate multiple subject-centric apps which are relevant to various subjects. All these applications have a very important feature in common – they can ‘sense’ current subject context. This approach can be used on the Web or on a new generation of desktops.

More info about my perspective on knowledge maps/grids, subject-centric pages, widgets, apps can be found in these references:

Enterprise Search, Faceted Navigation and Subject-Centric Portals; Topic Maps, 2008

Ruby, Topic Maps and Subject-centric Blogging: Tutorial, Topic Maps, 2008

Enterprise Knowledge Map; Topic Maps, 2007

Topic Maps Grid; Extreme Markup 2006

Fundamentals and possibilities are described perfectly in Steve Pepper’s presentation on Topic Maps 2008 (PPT format):

Everything is a Subject