Blog

September Update!

3 October 2016

We are now in the 11th week of our Official Inquiries project. This month, we managed to introduce a simple search feature to the website, that will allow visitors to the site to search the text inquiries we have up. Meanwhile, we conducted a review of text extraction tools. The better our text extraction, the less work is needed on an inquiry afterwards, so it was important to establish whether there was a clear favourite among the free and open source options available.

Testing PDF Extraction Tools

7 September 2016

We are now 8 weeks into the Official Inquiries project. One of the most time-consuming challenges the project faces is that of turning PDF files of inquiries into clean, readable text. Converting a PDF file into a text file is not a simple matter of changing a file extension or copying and pasting from one to another. To accomplish this conversion, we use free, open source tools which are capable of reading the PDF and rewriting it as a text file.

Official Inquiries Project: 3 weeks in

3 August 2016

We are now 3 weeks into the Outlandish Fellowship-funded part of our Official Inquiries project. We’ve got a basic website up and running and are busy uploading user-friendly, simple text versions of official inquiries for people to browse and search conveniently on their computer or mobile device. We began the project right at the moment that one of the most anticipated official inquiry reports in UK history – the Chilcot report – was released.

Funding from the Outlandish Fellowship

11 July 2016

We are very pleased to announce that we have been awarded an Outlandish Fellowship to work on our Official Inquiries project. Our project aims to collect the key documents of official inquiries, preserve them and present them in a useful and usable form in order to make them permanently and reliably available and to present their contents such that users can search, read and analyse them quickly on an easily-navigable website with reliable links and fully-searchable text that can be browsed conveniently on a mobile device.