Commonwealth of Learning Selects Convera Search Technology to Power One of World’s Largest Multilingual Sources for Online Distance Learning Content
Vienna, VA, August 26, 2002 — Convera (Nasdaq: CNVR) today announced that The Commonwealth of Learning, the world’s only intergovernmental organization solely concerned with the promotion and development of distance education and open learning, has installed Convera’s RetrievalWare as the search and categorization engine on its new Knowledge Finder portal. Launched in July 2002, the RetrievalWare-powered site (http://www.colfinder.org/) is helping learners, educators, managers, decision and policy makers in developing nations more precisely locate and manage educational information. The Commonwealth of Learning Knowledge Finder portal is one of the world’s largest aggregate sources of information and knowledge on open and distance learning.
All content found at the Knowledge Finder site comes from online sources in the public domain, filtered so that only the resources most relevant to educational development, curriculum content and learning are included in the filter’s current index of more than 250,000 web pages. RetrievalWare indexes this information to enable users to search content from all these public sites from a single point, in lieu of having to search hundreds of sites individually. RetrievalWare also intuitively compensates for alternative spellings (“cheque” or “check”), meanings (“banking” or “finance”), and typos (“colur” or “color”) by combining advanced pattern, concept and Boolean searching capabilities, enabling users to more efficiently locate the documents they need.
“By enabling its clients to index, categorize and manage the Internet’s boggling array of distance learning information, The Commonwealth of Learning, through its new one-stop site is able to more effectively help developing nations improve access to quality education and training content,” said the President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, Dato Professor Gajaraj Dhanarajan.
In coming months, The Commonwealth of Learning will expand upon the site by taking greater advantage of RetrievalWare’s multimedia and multilingual capabilities. The Commonwealth of Learning plans on increasing the availability of audio, image and graphics files on the site, using RetrievalWare to simultaneously search and organize these multiple data types. In terms of language support, visitors to the site currently are able to search and retrieve documents in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. As the site is intended for use by all of the organization’s 50+ member countries, The Commonwealth of Leaning plans on adding additional language capabilities in the near future, utilizing RetrievalWare’s support for more than 45 languages.
Implementation of the COL Knowledge Finder service has been supported by the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE), in an effort to ensure the relevance of the service to its target market. Neil Butcher, educational technology strategist at SAIDE, said: “The knowledge finder has the potential to bring together more sources of information on distance education in an automated manner than previously possible. With the combination of targeted Internet spidering of selected websites on distance education by using RetrievalWare and the ThoughtScape management tools, this service could give a much needed boost to the aggregation and delivery of information to learning centers and students.” SAIDE will be integrating the Knowledge Finder into a knowledge base it is developing on distance education in sub-Saharan Africa higher education for UNESCO, thus expanding further the system’s potential target market.
About Convera’s RetrievalWare
RetrievalWare is a high-performance multimedia, cross- and multi-lingual search system that allows broad flexibility and scalability for implementation across corporate intranets and extranets. RetrievalWare enables users to index and search a wide range of distributed information resources, including text, video, image and audio files, HTML, XML, over 200 proprietary document formats (such as word processors and publishing systems), relational database tables, document management systems, and groupware repositories. Advanced search capabilities include concept and keyword searching, pattern searching, and query-by-example. RetrievalWare excels in distributed client/server environments with thousands of users, documents, images, and/or multiple media assets.
Convera is a leading provider of mission-critical enterprise search, retrieval and categorization solutions. Convera’s RetrievalWare solutions maximize return on investment in vast stores of unstructured information by providing highly scalable, fast, accurate and secure search across more than 200 forms of text, video, image and audio information, in more than 45 languages. More than 750 customers in over 29 countries rely on Convera’s search solutions to power a broad range of mission critical applications including enterprise portals, knowledge management, intelligence gathering, profiling, corporate policy compliance, regulatory compliance, customer service and more. For more information, contact Convera at 800-788-7758, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Web at http://www.convera.com/.
About The Commonwealth of Learning
Based in Vancouver, Canada, The Commonwealth of Learning (http://www.col.org/) is an intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training. Since 1989, when it became operational, COL has helped introduce, or enhance, hundreds of teaching/training programs in more than 50 countries.
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