Sign up FAST! Login

Zanran helps you to find ‘semi-structured’ data on the web.

looking for stuff

 This is the numerical data that people have presented as graphs and tables and charts. For example, the data could be a graph in a PDF report, or a table in an Excel spreadsheet, or a barchart shown as an image in an HTML page. This huge amount of information can be difficult to find using conventional search engines, which are focused primarily on finding text rather than graphs, tables and bar charts.

Zanran doesn't work by spotting wording in the text and looking for images – it's the other way round.

The system examines millions of images and decides for each one whether it's a graph, chart or table – whether it has numerical content.

The core technology is patented computer vision algorithms that decide whether an image is numerical – and they're accurate (about 98%). But the huge majority of images on the internet are not graphs etc. So even though the accuracy is high, you will still get some non-numerical images.

In comparison, looking for tables is relatively simple. Once we've found a table we then have to decide whether it's essentially numerical - and we have algorithms for that.

Our programmes then take suitable text near that image and build the search engine around that text. At present, we extract tables and images from HTMLPDF and Excel files and will be processing PowerPoint and Word documents in the near future.

It is worth also mentioning that mapping the numerical content on the web would not have been possible without the development of open-source software and the access to vast processing power and cheap storage in cloud computing.

Zanran has crawled most of the internet.

Stashed in:

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

You May Also Like: