Calais for Content and Collection Managers
For a general overview of Calais please take a moment to read the About section. If you’d just like to jump in and learn how Calais is relevant to developers, read on.
Content and Collection Management
This is a big area that covers everything from corporate knowledge management to librarians to collections at museums. Given the range of needs for this group as a whole, we’re simply going to try and point you in some useful directions.
What Calais Does
Different areas of this site can provide you with much deeper detail, so let’s keep it simple for the time being.
Calais enhances your content with rich semantic metadata. Using your content as a starting point you can utilize Calais to automatically add metadata such as entities (people, places, organizations, etc.), facts (John Doe works for Acme Corporation as the CEO), and events (a natural disaster of type landslide happened on date x). That metadata is generated in industry-standard formats that ease integration with whatever commercial, open source or proprietary content management system you are using.
Metadata in and of itself is not too interesting. Where it gets more interesting is what you can do with the metadata. For right now we’ll just provide a few examples of what content managers are doing and considering doing with Calais:
Tag Your Complete Historical Archives in Hours
Perhaps you’re a complete convert to the value of tagging your content and are doing a great job with new material – but what about the tens of thousands to millions of pieces of historical content you have already produced? Several organizations are in the process of feeding their entire historical archive through Calais and automatically generating high-quality tags and metadata. By doing this they translate a stale content asset into one that can be actively searched and integrated with other content assets.
The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney is leading the way. The museum has a large and exceptionally well-documented collection. They have used Calais to tag the collection and provided their online catalog users with the ability to use these tags as search criteria. While it sounds simple, it’s given their users the ability to search across the entire collection by person, geography, company and other items. Read the blog posting about this capability or visit the online collection.
Improving User Search and Content Searchability
At best, keyword-based search solves a portion of your user’s search needs. By incorporating semantic metadata in your search solution you can dramatically improve the user search experience – and this doesn’t need to be complicated. Simply process your content using Calais and append the resulting metadata to your search index. As a simple example, your users can now search for “IBM” and “Management Change” to receive a complete listing of IBM-related hirings, firings, promotions, transfers and new positions – something barely achievable with keyword-based search.
No off-the-shelf Calais tool addresses the entire content management space. The Calais Web Service serves as the basic building block for your developers to work with.