Where? Fast!

Geo-spatial search

Pre-qualification of search points
Search by geographical proximity. Find the closest item - or find all those within a given distance.

The Forward Search Geo Search feature allows you to search the indexed content for items that are tagged as being in a certain distance from the specific search location provided in the search query. It can also search for and return the nearest items, searching in ever increasing circles until the desired quantity is matched. It is integrated into the Forward Search platform, and leverages the high performance provided in this framework.

Geo-spatial search relies on geographical information stored with each document. When searching for items using the geo-search, the visitor (or input device) must provide similar geographical information, upon which Forward Search calculates the distance between the documents geo-positions and the specified search location. Those that fit – are within a certain distance, for instance, are considered search hits. Obviously, the geo-search can be combined with other search criteria, so that a question like “Find me all bakeries within 20 miles, that are tagged as ‘organic’”, or “find the nearest 10 gas stations that has a car-wash” and so forth.

Speed of search

Geo Search requires calculation of distances on a sphere, a notoriously resource greedy algorithm, and Forward Search therefore applies advanced techniques to reduce the number of calculations needed in a given query, by an elaborate prequalification scheme, and therefore, Forward Search delivers lightning fast geo-spatial search results comparable with the normal fast search results Forward Search has always delivered.  Through the Forward Search administration client, this scheme can be fine-tuned to fit special geographical setups, but the default settings will most often be adequate for normal country-wide or regional Geo-spatial Search solutions.

Geo-coordinates or street addresses

Forward Search Geo Search uses de-facto standard geo-coordinates and will harvest those automatically from the documents provided the documents are tagged properly using any of several de-facto standard geo-coordinate tags. If geo-coordinates are not already present, Forward Search allows for geo-coordinate insertion in the indexing pipeline or using the post processor. In this process, street addresses will be converted into geo-coordinates, using a 3rd party vendor like Google. License for such 3rd party geo-coordinate conversion must be procured separately and from the service provider.

The Geo Search feature supports distances measured in kilometers, miles, nautical miles, yards, meters and feet.