When it comes to performing searches within your viewer frameworks, you may quickly find yourself inundated with information – much of which you likely don’t need or don’t find relevant for whatever it is you may be trying to isolate.
With Geocortex Web, there are some helpful tricks you can apply to quickly and efficiently refine your search results so that you’re laser-focused on exactly what you want to be viewing information on while removing the excess clutter.
To that end, this week’s Geocortex Tech Tip will demonstrate some of the different ways you can customize and refine your results within the interface.
“Hi, I’m Cam Barnard, a Product Manager here that works on Geocortex software. Today I want to talk to you about Geocortex Web, and specifically some of the features that are in that interface for refining your results.
These are the types of features that – before you discover them – you’d be like “I wish there was a way to do this!” – actually there is, and we’re happy to show it to you! Let’s get started!
Let’s explore some of the different ways you can refine results within Geocortex Web. We will start things off by doing a search.
We’re going to search for Los Angeles, and we happen to be in the Los Angeles area, so as one might expect, I’m going to get a whole bunch of results, potentially incomprehensible.
First way you should refine the results is by extending the words in your search. It may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget. “Los Angeles police department” is going to be a more refined search than just “Los Angeles” and now you can start to see that Los Angeles Police Department is actually the top-ranked or top-weighted search result across all this data making it much easier to find. So, using more words is helpful.
Sometimes even with more words or less words you don’t get what you’re looking for. It’s important to know that in Geocortex Web, the map extent limits your search. What this means is that if I was looking for something outside of this extent, I may not find it, so I may need to zoom the map out and perform that search again or I might need to zoom into a neighborhood, so that I’m restricting the search to an area that I’m particularly interested in. Those are some high-level ways to refine your search.
Let’s go ahead and clear that. Let’s go back to our initial map extent and we are going to research for Los Angeles. We are going to get a whole bunch of results back across multiple map layers.
One of the first things I want to show you if you haven’t discovered it before is this is a flat list of ranked results; you can also toggle this to get a grouped view. Now I can see that I got 34 results for public schools,13 hospitals, 67 crimes, etc.
When it comes to pairing away results, I’m not interested in to get at the things that I really want to see. I can interact with these on a layer by layer basis. I’m not interested in crimes. No problem! I can remove those crimes in from my results. And as I do you, can see my total number of results is going to begin to go down. I’m also not interested in Land Views or Zip Codes or World Geocoder Results.
Now I’m working with 50 results. It is already a lot more manageable. Here’s where it starts to get really interesting, and I’m going to switch back to the flat list of ranked, is open this little refinement panel. Within the refinement panel, you can see your results by source. What that means is I can bring up just all my public school results and see a list of those there and they’re going to work the same way you would expect them to within any other view or down to – for example – school district or hospitals, and I can begin to see these results.
If I want to whittle out individual results that I’m not interested in, I can select a few of these and I can say that I either just want to just remove these from this list, or I can say actually I’m really only interested in these five. I’m just going to keep those and get rid of the rest.
We also have these handy select “All”, select “None”, so if I’m done with those and I don’t want them selected any more. No problem, but I’m going to go ahead and select two of these again because one of the other things I want to show you is that these selections persist. If I go to “School Districts” and select this school district and then I go to “All Sources”, you can see that that school district and those hospitals are still selected, so you can drill in, do some selections, drill back out again, and those selections will still persist.
Back down to “Public Schools” for moment. Often the case is if you’re just wanting to get rid of a couple, maybe actually you’ll want to select them all, and then I want to remove these three. Well, now I can go ahead and do that.
Depending on whether your mental model is “I want to keep everything except these things” or your mental model is “I just want to select these things for removal,” we’ve got you covered in this refinement panel.
Those are some of the built-in capabilities that exist today in Geocortex Web for refining your results!”
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