Monday, November 17, 2014

The Area Browser

A significant part of my current job involves converting data that is obtained from many different sources into a standard format that uses the appropriate terminology for the general customer. One example of that is seen in the various ways we receive our international data. Within the data product of our different international data sources we see different standards for letter casing, combinations of national and language culture, different choices for area name modifiers, and entity duplication.To deal with that we have prepared an application, known as the Area Browser, that has a somewhat cohesive set of features intended to help a geographic area specialist merge the various versions of each unique data point into the preferred value as considered by our paying customers.

As seen just below, the Area Browser presents two tree views of the same data that allow the subject expert to line up merging or moving data so it is logically organized.  Features include several ways to move or merge tree nodes including movement of multiple nodes, movement or merging of like-named nodes, searching and matching that is wise to culture casing and transliteration, assigning the hierarchy of area level names as appropriate for the country, and manual creation/deletion and editing of nodes.

The Area Browser

Menu items show available actions:

The Preference Selector shown below is accessed via a mnemonic or menu item for the purpose of resolving terminology differences that result in duplication across the data set that falls below a selected tree level.  It provides lists of areas for which there is not yet a preference, and for areas where there are duplicate preferences specified. It offers the means to specify terms that should be preferred or avoided, the letter casing in which that preference should be selected, and whether consideration terms should be substrings or whole words.

The Preference Selector

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