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Siderean’s tagged facets

Siderean , one of the interesting faceted classification companies, has announced some new capabilities that aim at automating the generation of metadata and that integrate tagging with facets.

The automation comes from entity extraction tools (plus the ability to integrate third party tools, because, frankly, Siderean is not in the entity extraction business) that isolate names of people, places, organizations, dates, etc. from a collection of pages. This addresses one of the real inhibitors of the use of faceted classification: The data has to already be well structured and well tagged. That makes it great for browsing databases but not as good for browsing big piles of unstructured data (= documents).

The system integrates tags in a useful way. Users can tag items and then use tags to further specify searches through the faceted interface. In fact, the tags can be “bucketed” and treated as facets. The tags can be marked as personal or public, and can be associated with groups and other contexts. Yes, the system does integrate with del.icio.us. (Siderean fooled around with this in a beta project called — wonderfully — fac.etio.us.

Siderean also announced that it’s now using the faceted information to drive analytics. This is really “just” another way of displaying the faceted information. But it can be quite useful because a faceted system has so much data built into it. For example, a library system might know that (and this is a made-up example) there were fifteen times as many books about Iraq published in the past two years than in the past twenty; it has to know this if it’s going to let users browse for books by subject and then by year (or vice versa). Siderean’s analytics offering follows that of Endeca.

Faceted classification is young. It’s exciting watching imaginative companies like Siderean invent new twists and turns right under our eyes. [Tags: ]

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