Sunday, 16 October 2011

FAST Spatial Search Toolkit v1.0 - Search for Spatial Data with FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint

I've been working on a custom FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint Solution which is an extension to the FAST Search Center site template that allows you to search for data that is spatially referenced.

Many organisations deal with data that is spatially referenced, this solution provides the ability to search for data with FS4SP using a map control to zoom in on a specific piece area of interest so you can focus on finding data specific to that area.

For v1.0 of the FAST Spatial Search Toolkit I've developed a custom site definition based on the out-of-the-box FAST Search Center site definition. The FAST Spatial Search Center incorporates a custom Silverlight 4 application that uses the Bing Maps Silverlight Map Control to allow searches to be refined spatially and for visualisation of spatial search results.

The out-of-the-box default.aspx and results.aspx pages have been customised to incorporate a small map control for spatial filtering and visualisation. A large full screen map page is also included that queries FAST Search via the search web services for returning and visualising thousands of search results across an area.

Check out the following video for a demo of the solution:

The FAST Spatial Search Center supports searching for points and bounding boxes. Point data is represented by Longitude and Latitude coordinates and bounding box data has a North, South, East and West bound which represents an area.

If you would like to deploy and test the solution out yourself, you will need your own Bing Maps API key and will also need to create six FAST Search managed properties to allow the solution to query search results spatially.

It's FREE (requires a Bing Maps API Key) to download you can download the solution from the Download - FAST Spatial Search Toolkit page.

For detailed steps on setting up the solution, check out the FAST Spatial Search Toolkit Installation post.


KMow said...

Good to see the follow-through Sezai. I think we ended up pretty far ahead of the peanut-brain understanding curve (e.g. IT management). Now, just wait for people to catch up ;-)

Andrew said...

This is cool Sez. You are a beast on the keys and am impressed with the amount of you work you put in to get this up and running.

Mike said...

Very nice indeed!!

One question... how do we map documents to locations on the map?

Can we support GIS file types like those supported by ?

This looks pretty potent!

Sezai Komur said...

Mike, check out slide 6 of my presentation on the solution here:

The source documents have coordinates added to them as columns in a document library.

If you don't have spatial data stored against each item, you could develop an External Item Processing Components using the Pipeline Extensibility feature in FAST Search:

You could develop an application that extracts spatial data from crawled content and store it as crawled properties that can be mapped to the latitude & longitude or north, south, east & west managed properties that this solution uses.

Another idea I have for development of a future version is to utilise the Locations property extractor. FAST Search extracts location names from unstructured content. An example of this can be viewed here: Where they're using the Location refiner to call a Bing Maps geocoding service to visualise search results.

For supporting GIS file types, further development is required to parse data in GIS file formats to extract spatial references as crawled properties. A custom FAST Search connector might be required to be developed to do this.

So it is all possible with custom development, thanks to the extensibility available with FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.

Bas Lijten said...

Hi Sezai, I just created a custom pipeline extension that extracts latitude + longitude from the locations property. I am presenting about it next tuesday, after that presentation I will make the source + presentation available.


Sezai Komur said...

Bas that's excellent! Let me know (twitter: @sezai) when you've posted the source code up and then I'll possibly integrate this in to my next release, or build on and extend your solution.

With geocoding using the Locations property via a custom pipeline extension this spatial search solution could easily be deployed within existing deployments that don't have latitude, longitude or other spatial information stored against the source content.

Anonymous said...

Any word on the custom pipeline Bas wrote about? Would be very helpful. Thanks.

Sezai Komur said...

Hey Bas hasn't contacted me - I'm currently developing the pipeline extension that hooks into a custom gazetteer system to extract spatial crawled properties for content that doesn't have this information.

I should have the next version of this toolkit completed in a few months from now so watch this space...

Bas Lijten said...

he Sezai,

sorry I didn;t contact you. Didn't release the source for one stupid reason: I just forgot it. Currently working on 2 presentations for the next techdays in the netherlands. After that day (so next friday) I will release it.

Sezai Komur said...

No worries at all Bas...

I'm still working through this myself, mine should be done in a few weeks.

Sezai Komur said...

Nice work Bas!

GeoSearch with Fast Search for SharePoint 2010 - Part 1

GeoSearch with Fast Search for SharePoint 2010 - Part 2: Custom pipeline extensions

Deep said...

Sezai is the source code for your solution available?

deep said...

Sezai is the source code for your solution available?

Anonymous said...

Can you please share the source code?

Ramesh Kumar said...

Interesting post! I enjoyed reading it!
Thanks for sharing this useful info.keep updating same way.

Ramesh Roy
Sharepoint Custom Development