An enterprise search solution can provide you with fast and secure access to data that traditionally has been stored in different silos. This can e.g. be leveraged to create enterprise mashups, something that is particularly interesting together with information extraction techniques you'll find in more advanced search platforms like FAST Search. FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 has e.g. the ability to automatically recognize words and phrases by type (entities) within unstructured text, and for this blog post we'll look more at how we can leverage the locations extractor to create a simple mashup in your search results page. The locations extractor will tag each document with extracted locations (during document processing), and we'll use the Bing Maps AJAX API to geo code these locations before we plot them on a map on the search results page. Note that the locations are available in a locations refiner, and will reflect your entire search results when using FAST Search (as a "deep" refiner, see e.g. here for more on refiners - aka faceted search).
The screen shot below is from a FAST Search results page with a Bing Maps Mashup Web Part added.
The locations refiner is available out-of-the-box from FAST Search. It is however not configured to be fetched and displayed in the Refinement Panel Web Part by default, so we need to specify this first;
- In your FAST Search Center, click Site Actions > Edit Page
- Edit your Refinement Panel Web Part;
- Update the Filter Category Definition XML, and add an entry to include the locations managed property
- <Category Title="Location" Description="Locations found in document" Type="Microsoft.Office.Server.Search.WebControls.ManagedPropertyFilterGenerator" MetadataThreshold="1" NumberOfFiltersToDisplay="4" MaxNumberOfFilters="20" ShowMoreLink="True" MappedProperty="locations" MoreLinkText="show more" LessLinkText="show fewer" ShowCounts="Count" />
- Uncheck Use Default Configuration, and Click Apply
- Click Save to go back to your search page
See also previous blog entry for instructions on how to setup your Visual Studio environment.
See previous post on how to add the Web Part to your search page.
With FAST Search for SharePoint 2010 it is easy to hook into your search results and create new and interestring mashups. This blog post has shown how to mashup values from the locations refiner with Bing Maps, but the options are many. Other "deep" refiners are e.g. companies and person names, in addition to of course the search results them selves.