More Mappable Data, and Map-Hungry Users
More and more information on the Internet is ‘mappable’:
- The physical addresses of offices or stores
- Wikipedia articles (country/city info, geo-science articles, etc.)
- Photos and videos with content of local interest on “Web 2.0” content-sharing sites
- POI (Point Of Interest) services like tourism portals (attractions, hotels, etc.)
Naturally enough, numerous services have recently appeared allowing Net surfers to view search results on a map, bridging the gap between the ‘real world’ and Web content. No longer satisfied with viewing mappable information presented in an old-fashioned laundry list of search results, users today are hungry to search for information within and through a map. And Exalead is eager to join users in exploring the boundaries of map-based search. We’ve therefore added a new geo-spatial search demo, Sourcier, to our Exalabs site.
Map-Based Search with Exalead
Sourcier was produced in collaboration with France’s leading public earth science institution, BRGM (Bureau of Geological and Mining Research). It provides map-centered search for metropolitan France groundwater resources using publicly available data from the ADES site.
Sourcier enables users to search water resources and water-related points of interest (along with associated scientific data) according to:
- A chemical component, environmental factor, or micro-biological element
- A geographical area, by navigating the map using drawing tools, or specifying an administrative area (region, county or municipality)
Results are displayed directly on the map along with markers for exploring related data in a graphical form.
Forthcoming indexation and geo-search experiments using Exalead technology will involve support for more complex geometric objects and distance calculations to support extrapolation to different geometric shapes (for example, using a specified radius to manipulate maximum distance).
The indexation of geometric objects such as polygons would permit one, for example, to search London parks and reuse their geo-spatial ‘fingerprints’ on the map as search criteria, and to retrieve related Web data like geo-tagged photos or videos.
Sourcier is available at: http://sourcier.labs.exalead.com/
(Note: the service is currently available in French.)