IRS Tax Map began in 2002 as a prototype to address the business need for improved access to tax law technical information by our telephone assistors. Tax Map is built on two technologies: semantic integration and the Topic Maps international standard (ISO/IEC 13250).
IRS began implementing standard markup languages and creating structured content for our tax law information in the late 1980s. XML/SGML has allowed IRS to standardize document syntax and structure but additional standards were needed to integrate our information sources. IRS chose the Topic Maps international standard for IRS Tax Map.
IRS Tax Map is a web presentation of an underlying "topic map", best understood as a kind of subject-oriented database — a database designed to organize information around subjects of interest to taxpayers. Each subject has a "topic page" in Tax Map. This page provides central access to everything that Tax Map knows about the subject. It may have links to the topic pages of related topics, as well as to relevant forms, instructions, and publications.
The Tax Map production process adapts to the different kinds of information produced by the various groups at IRS, and incorporates input and feedback from IRS Tax Specialists and Tax Map users. Adherence to the principles of the ISO Topic Maps standard protects the value of this knowledge, allowing it to be exploited and maintained under changing conditions.
For more information on the Topic Maps international standard see Cover Pages hosted by OASIS and the ISO working group maintaining the standard. For additional information or comments on IRS Tax Map email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org