Data Harmony released their Inline Tagging Web service extension recently – let’s talk about inline tagging software and information environments well-suited to benefit.

Web developers are implementing inline tagging software in an increasing variety of information environments, spurred on by the creativity of users requesting new features based on accurate placement of inline tags. And it’s probably safe to say many users aren’t aware it’s inline tagging that propels some of the innovations they enjoy in their graphical user interface (GUI)… at the level of the onscreen text.

Data Harmony recently released their Inline Tagging Web service as one of the Version 3.9 ‘extension modules’ – causing me to wonder:

  • What kinds of Web computing environments are well-suited for leveraging subject tags at the level of inline text?
  • What is inline tagging good for? What can a subject tag accomplish when it’s been matched to a specific word’s location in the input text?
  • What is the Data Harmony development team’s vision for implementation of the Inline Tagging extension?
  • Can tags other than subject indexing terms be deployed for inline tagging?

To begin at the end of the tale, the answer to the last question is ‘Yes’ – geographical terms and other non-subject tags can be deployed for inline tagging, since inline tags are based on accurate indexing, which in turn is reliant on controlled vocabularies.

Controlled vocabularies such as taxonomies and thesauri can store terms like place names and other kinds of terms that don’t capture strictly conceptual information. Rather, they serve as an authority file for other forms of information, for example, geographical. Inline tagging applications can match non-conceptual terms also, during analysis of input text, and be configured to extend functionality for a purpose like linking to a geographical database for supporting information. For example, if ‘Canada’ were matched in the text, inline tagging might activate a mouse over window that offers the user a chance to go look at a relevant entry from an atlas, or encyclopedia. If the user chooses to click on the word ‘Canada’ in the text, a new interface tab opens to the relevant entry.

Guess what I discovered on taking my questions to the Data Harmony 3.9 developers… implementation ideas!

As a tool for search engines to boost the results of document search and retrieval

When a tag is included inline in a text object found by a search engine, words immediately around the tag (or the entire sentence) can be returned to the search engine, to supplement search results by providing context information about the match’s location in the found document.

The capability to return search term matches along with their context is significant in publications with multiple sections or chapters, to permit easier division into identifiable sections and subsections. Many publishers now offer content for sale in smaller pieces, so each customer can put together a ‘customized electronic book’ by combining chunks from different sources. Search and retrieval in publication collections retrieves relevant sections and subsections for recombination into new content objects. Accurate inline tagging facilitates this highly effective search strategy.

To turn up the volume of social media postings

Inline tagging can add value to search and retrieval within social media communities, increasing the gain of metadata information that’s already there in posts! You can use it for better categorization and linking related Twitter ‘tweets,’ professional discussions, social issue blogs and closed community forums (chat rooms) – for turning up the volume!

A well-placed inline tag inside a blog entry offers a semantic hook for Web applications to latch onto: blog postings can be followed within a certain date range only, or sent to designated recipients automatically when contributors write about any subject of definite interest.

As a lexicological training tool

Inline tagging methods can provide information for a language learner or human indexer about the meaning, form, and usage of words, while keeping the context in view.

In XML databases

XML databases often build indexes of searchable data by polling, at incredible speeds, all text in all available XML files – even for millions of records – and storing results in a repository. Inline tagging offers an alternative to the traditional polling method that often serves as the foundation for document search and retrieval in an XML database. Inline tagging methods enable you to describe fields with unique inline XML tags, for later recognition and retrieval by the spidering engines. Learn more.

Kirk Sanders, Editorial Services
Project Manager, Access Innovations