ViceVersa Technologies presents the first public release of SCAN (Smart Content Aggregation and Navigation) platform. SCAN is a personal Information Retrieval framework, combining search, text analysis, tagging and metadata functions to provide new user experience of desktop navigation and document management.
“… the abundance of information will be such that either you have reached such a level of maturity that you are able to be your own filter, or you will desperately need a filter… some professional filter.”
Umberto Eco: A Conversation on Information
(an interview by Patrick Coppock, February, 1995)
SCAN is aiming for a solution of major problems of content organization and findability in information overload era.
SCAN aggregates content from different sources into a single documents collection. This repository may keep records on thousands of documents independently of their original locations and formats. Every document record contains a number of metadata properties (such as title, description, author, creation date, etc) which can be either set automatically or edited manually.
Adding documents to the repository is an automated operation. A user only need to point SCAN to a location and the application will find and add every document from there. Added document locations will be monitored for changes (new, modified or deleted documents) to keep the repository up-to-date.
The documents content is indexed for search and text analysis. You can search the documents either by simple text queries, or by using special forms to make complex queries for searching on document text and properties. The queries can be saved for repeatable use.
The documents collection is structured with a system of tags, similar to the services like del.icio.us or Flickr. Tags are keywords or labels attached to the items to identify them for quick navigation and finding. All tags together form a taxonomy representing the semantics of the documents collection. The taxonomy can be viewed as a “tags cloud” for navigating through the documents repository.
SCAN text analysis mechanism simplifies the process of tagging. It analyzes a document content and suggests the most relevant words as to-be tags. It makes manual tagging as simple as selecting the tags from the proposed candidates. It also can undertake the whole manual process of tagging, either by automated assigning the tags to the documents, or by finding the documents, relevant to a specific tag. Another text analysis application is searching the documents similar to a specific one (search by pattern).
SCAN is a component-based software using a number of plugins for specific features. The basic SCAN platform can be easily extended with plugins for new document formats, document locations (RSS feeds, web-sites, e-mail, etc) and language analyzers. Whole new areas of functionality can be added with user interface extensions. An example of such extensions is the plugin to browse the repository with a calendar (grouping the documents by their creation dates).