My Two Cents: CoRIS Engine

Lapointe_Tom Tom.Lapointe at
Wed Oct 3 12:02:32 EDT 2001

To CoRIS Working Group members:

Yesterday, I spent a good deal of time with the CoRIS search engine.
Considerable progress has been made.  Everyone involved should pleased
that we have an engine in place that the group can comment on.

I have one major comment at this stage.  When I searched for CoRIS data
in southern Florida, I found nine items ranging from bleaching reports
to anomaly charts.  Clicking on the "Retrieve Full Record" link,
provided me with the metadata record and a URL.  The URLs were
inconsistent, some going directly to products, some going to general
home pages, and others going to section pages.

I think that focusing on the metadata record as the primary output might
be putting the cart before the horse.  Just because the metadata drive
the search engine does not mean that the metadata record should be the
primary viewer to the product.  Our experience in NOS is that users are
primarily interested in the product, not the metadata.  The metadata
must be available as supportive information, but the product is first.
I also think that focusing on the actual product will force us to "drill
down to real products" rather than list generic home pages, or general
sections of Web sites.  It will also identify shortcomings in the
metadata records themselves.

The same was true in the library photo gallery.  What does the user
really want to see: a photograph with a caption, or the metadata
record?  We all know the answer to that one.

Now that we have a working search engine, I believe that we need the
discipline of looking at things through a product perspective.   This is
not a issue for the technical team; it is an issue for the entire
working group.

My two cents, probably worth less


Tom La Pointe
1305 East-West Highway (SSMC4/Room 9537)
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-713-3000x168, Fax: 301-713-4384, Email: Tom.Lapointe at

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