A big point in my NEASIS&T presentation Tuesday was how new technologies like XML and web services allow us to separate the tools that manage and store our data from the tools that display and manipulate it. This is, of course, part of the web 2.0 infrastructure, and an enabler of so many great hacks and mashups.
In this prototype, I’m using XML access to our catalog to fetch the top 150 results for a keyword search, aggregate the subject headings and authors, and display it all for the user. The data is live, so go get clicky on it. Also, try this version that displays the clusters in a more tag-like way. I’m not sure which view I like better, so I’m experimenting with both.
None of this is new, of course. Clusty, RedLightGreen, and others have been down this path already. But I’m trying to make two points here: first, things like this make search better/easier/more fun, but second, our vendors absolutely need to offer rich APIs to the data we in their products.
[update:] here’s a mockup of how this info might be displayed, along with some other ways I’d like to enhance the catalog.