Iowa Government Gets a Digital Dictionary Provided By Access

April 7, 2012

How did we get by without the invention of the quick search to look up information?  We used to use dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a place called the library.  Access Innovations, Inc. has brought the Iowa Legislature General Assembly into the twenty-first century.

The write-up “Access Innovations, Inc. Creates Taxonomy for Iowa Code, Administrative Code and Acts” tells us the data management industry leader has built a thesaurus that allows the Legislature to search its library of proposed laws, bills, acts, and regulations.  Users can also add their unstructured data to the thesaurus.  Access used their Data Harmony software to provide subscription-based delivery and they built the thesaurus on MAIstro.

“The project differed from typical index and thesaurus creation because the Iowa Legislative Services Agency needed to maintain its existing codes from each back-of-the-book index, rather than starting from scratch and creating new codes.  One reference alone, the Blue Index, included 2,300 index terms.  To create the thesaurus, Access looked at different methods to apply to each term according to the existing references, tied preferred terms to the existing codes, and added related terms to the preferred terms.   The codes covered previous legislation dating as far back as 1953 to legislation through 2010.  Also, the custom taxonomy was built with only four levels in order to meet Iowa Legislative Services’ navigation requirements.  Typically, thesauri are not limited by a specified number of levels.”

The new legal thesaurus makes it much easier to find new laws and their changes instead of having to browse through pages of book.  Access Innovations hopes their project for the Iowa Legislature General Assembly will encourage other government bodies to turn their libraries over to them for indexing.  Not only would that make it easier for politicians and their staff to conduct research, maybe it could improve the political situation in the US.  Making part of a job easier tends to make people happy.

Whitney Grace, April 7, 2012

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One Response to “Iowa Government Gets a Digital Dictionary Provided By Access”

  1. Iowa Government Gets a Digital Dictionary Provided By Access « Another Word For It on April 9th, 2012 5:33 pm

    […] Iowa Government Gets a Digital Dictionary Provided By Access […]

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