U.S. Government Agency Enhances Access to Technical Library

Direct Access to Relevant Information Provides Significant Advantages for U.S. Government Agency

Challenge

Large organizations, especially government departments and agencies, often possess sizeable document libraries. The staff members of these organizations rely on fast access to technical information to perform their jobs. Like professionals in many industries, they require systems that support them, as opposed to ones that make day-to-day tasks more difficult.

A government agency recently contacted Innodata Isogen regarding its technical library, which consisted mostly of paper documents and manuals accrued over forty years of operation. The agency’s technicians were finding that their productivity was impeded by the difficulty in locating documents, using the content effectively and working with multiple documents simultaneously (especially documents that had been revised over the years, causing confusion as to which versions were the most current). Certain tasks required technicians to access information in as many as thirty documents concurrently. Additionally, technicians did not have the ability to create and reference their own virtual document sets, even though doing so would save considerable time when a similar job was allocated to them.

Solution

Innodata Isogen's relationship with the agency started when it selected us to digitize its paper library for use in a content archive under development. We quickly realized that the agency could solve its technical information delivery challenge, and also deliver fragments of technical documents accurately and electronically. The agency commissioned us to develop a solution proposition and then to deliver that proposition initially through a prototype system.

The solution allows the agency’s staff to interact with electronic documents individually, and to use the content in a variety of composite virtual documents. This new way of working enables technicians to create composite documents for use on-the-fly, annotate them with additional information, and store them in personal or shared work spaces. The technicians’ views of the composite documents are dynamically generated from information stored in a MarkLogic database.

Implementation

Throughout this engagement, Innodata Isogen and MarkLogic consultants worked together as one team with the client’s project team. Our solution is comprised of the following components:

  • An IETM browser application, through which technicians access the technical manual content and the functionality of the system.
  • An Electronic Document Delivery System (EDDS) for handling the distribution of XML document content and images to the browser.
  • Content data architecture, representing the complexity and size of the technical library, delivered to support the EDDS browser-based application — specifically, the ability to accurately retrieve and present detailed information from the digital content produced during the conversion and enhancement of the paper-based content.
  • The digitization, conversion and enhancement of the technical library’s paper content to a number of prescribed semantic standards, including the cleanup and vectorization of key graphics.

Critical to the success of the project is that each component is tightly interrelated to the other, requiring a precise intersection between content structure, conversion processing, post-conversion processing, content management technology, content delivery technology, browser functionality, and an understanding of the agency’s requirements, combined with the knowledge of how to align those requirements with their working processes.

Impact

The new way of working enables technicians to create composite documents for use on-the-fly, annotate these with additional information and store them in personal or shared work spaces. The direct access to relevant information has increased productivity and the quality of output. The agency’s staff now has a consistent view of content and new staff can be trained more quickly.

About Innodata Isogen

Innodata Isogen is a leading provider of consulting, technology and publishing services to media, information services and publishing companies worldwide, and other information-intensive companies in sectors ranging from manufacturing to government.

We are widely recognized for expertise in XML and standards-based content technologies — including search, content and knowledge management, digital asset management and electronic publishing.

  

 

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