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The Workspace, Take Two.

Posted
May 10th, 2010

Tags
Workspace

Author
Amanda Hickman

You’ll notice a lot of changes to when you next log in to DocumentCloud. We’re still working hard to make DocumentCloud work better, and we hope that our new layout will make it much easier to access and use the entities (aka keywords: people, places, organizations, terms…) that OpenCalais provides. You’ll also notice a ton of little improvements, if you look closely.

Entities:

You can now view all the entities that OpenCalais identified in your search results by clicking over to the “Entities” tab at any time. The number alongside each term shows you how many documents in your results contain each term. Select any term to filter your search to include that term and then use the “show pages” link to see each page on which a term appears.

View More Documents:

In addition to viewing the details of each document in a list, you can now choose to display a grid of your documents as thumbnails, with 30 documents on a page. This should make it easier to organize projects, and scan through search results.

Visualizations:

Many of our (very cool, we realize) keyword visualizations are gone. The timeline is still there to show you what dates appear where in your documents, but gone are the swooping lines that highlighted exactly which documents contained any particular entity term. As you probably noticed if you tried to use them for more than just a test drive, they were a little too limited to be useful.

You can still access all the information you used to be able to get from those visualizations through the new entities tab, in what is hopefully a far more helpful fashion, but we’re taking the visual displays back to the workshop for the time being.

The workspace’s new look is thanks to the talented Folkert Gorter, the interface designer responsible for Cargo and Good.is, among other fine work. We’re continuing to work together closely on the workspace and other portions of DocumentCloud, as we move into the home stretch of our first year.

DocumentCloud is still very much in beta and we continue to welcome your suggestions, bug reports and feedback.

2 Responses to 'The Workspace, Take Two.'

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  1. I like the look of the new workspace. But one feature that seems to be missing now is the ability to see a document’s annotation from the workspace without opening it (with the “show notes” link).

    I thought this was a pretty cool feature — it allowed me to see the key quotes of any document without having to open up each one. I’d imagine this feature would be particularly helpful for big projects involving multiple docs — when it might be cumbersome to open each one and look at the annotations tab.

    If there’s a way to bring that feature back in the next update, that’d be my vote. :) Keep up the great work — really enjoying working with it so far.

    – Chad Skelton

    Chad Skelton

    11 May 10 at 12:49 pm

  2. Hi Chad.

    It wasn’t in those pictures, but you can certainly still show and edit your notes from within your workspace. Here’s a screenshot:

    http://cl.ly/a0447aa1148860ec94f2

    The link just moved over to the left a bit.

    At the moment, we’re actually working on making notes more usable from the workspace — making their contents searchable, perhaps within a “Notes” tab alongside the “Documents” tab. It’s in the works for a future release.

    Jeremy Ashkenas

    13 May 10 at 9:55 am

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