Welcome to the Omnigator

Read Me First

The Omnigator is a technology showcase and teaching aid designed to demonstrate the power of Topic Maps. It is also used extensively as a topic map debugger and prototyping tool. Now, with the introduction of RDF support, the Omnigator is evolving into a multi-purpose Semantic Web Agent.

The Omnigator is omnivorous: It eats anything, provided it is a topic map – or can be viewed as one! Its most unique feature is that it lets you load and navigate any conforming topic map, whether its format be XTM 1.0, XTM 2.0, LTM – or even RDF. What's more, although it isn't optimized for any particular application, the Omnigator is able to make reasonable sense out of any reasonably sensible topic map!

But the Omnigator lets you do far more than simply browse your topic maps. It supports all aspects of the Topic Maps standard and has a host of powerful features, such as the ability to merge topic maps on the fly; search in ways that make Google boggle; export to a range of syntaxes; customize different views; produce filtered subsets based on scope; perform semantic validation; and much more besides.

The most eye-catching new Omnigator feature is the Vizigator, which produces a graphic visualization of your topic map. The Vizigator is accessed via the Vizigate plug-in on any Topic Page. In addition, support for RDF has been improved through the addition of the RDF2TM plug-in which allows you to configure your mappings.

All these features are documented in the Omnigator User Guide, which also includes a short practical tutorial on how to create your own topic map and load it into the Omnigator. The User Guide also describes all the plug-ins that extend the functionality of the Omnigator in a number of ways. We encourage you to look through the User Guide in order to avoid missing out on interesting features that you might not otherwise discover.

User Interface
The Omnigator's interface has not been designed for end users and Ontopia does not therefore recommend using the Omnigator for end user applications. End users should not be aware that the application they are using is driven by a topic map: They should simply experience an interface that for once makes it possible to find the information they are looking for, quickly, easily, and intuitively. The reason you will see technical terms (like "topic type") in the Omnigator is because it is intended as a teaching aid and debugger for people like yourself who want to know what is going on under the covers.

The Omnigator is built using the tools in the Ontopia Java toolkit for Topic Maps application development. It is built on top of the Ontopia Topic Maps Engine using the Ontopia Navigator Framework, a toolkit for building web delivery applications. We recommend using the Navigator Framework for end-user applications designed around a specific ontology; it's like XSLT for Topic Maps. You can see examples of such custom applications on our Scripts and Languages and OperaMap web sites. For more information about these products and Ontopia's partners around the world, contact info@ontopia.net or visit www.ontopia.net.