FirstGov Relaunches with Vivisimo and MSN Powered Search
FirstGov.gov has relaunched using Vivísimo’s (the clustering search technology) Velocity web search platform. The redesigned portal, which went live today, leverages Vivísimo Velocity’s search, federated-search and clustering capabilities, combined with expanded search results from Microsoft MSN Search. This turnkey, hosted search solution serves as the technology backbone for Kids.Gov, Espanol.Gov and Consumer.Gov, which are niche market oriented FirstGov sister sites.
FirstGov.gov uses Velocity to selectively crawl government documents and Web pages, meta search government resources, and cluster all of the results into thematic categories. These capabilities, combined with an MSN search index more than five times larger than the old FirstGov.gov search index, deliver a much more comprehensive and feature-rich search for the user. As a result, users spend less time navigating the vast bureaucracy of government information, and spend more time finding information relevant to their search and exploring relevant topics in depth.
“The combination of Vivísimo and MSN Search creates a powerful new FirstGov.gov search that will make users more productive and better informed,” said MJ Pizzella, associate administrator of GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications. “Vivísimo’s flexibility and the MSN Search index provide us with a robust search solution that unlocks vast amounts of federal, state and local information for FirstGov.gov users. The new features, combined with the reduction in cost to build, deploy and maintain the new FirstGov.gov search service result in unmatched value for the U.S. Government and the taxpayers.”
Vivísimo’s Velocity Web search platform selectively crawls and indexes a variety of government sources including frequently asked question documents (FAQs), government forms, government job postings, audio podcasts and consumer product reports, to return value-added sources and combine them with Web results at FirstGov.gov. A search on “tax returns” returns FAQs addressing questions such as “Where do I get a tax return?” and “How do I get a copy of a previous year’s tax return?”
Additionally, the new service will offer clustering capabilities taking large amounts of search results and sorting them into thematic folders for easier navigation. As a result, even the most ambiguous queries result in clearly defined themes about which the user can do more exploring. For example, a search on “Congress” returns folders of results related to the “Library of Congress,” “108th Congress,” “Senate,” and “Representatives,” and “Address to Congress.”
“The new FirstGov.gov search shows off all the elements of modern search: use of search results from multiple search engines, clustering into folders, and custom crawling of high-value government products such as FAQs, databases, forms and others.” said Raul Valdes-Perez, CEO and co-founder of Vivísimo. “Vivísimo is proud to work with GSA and MSN to build the finest government search portal in the world.”
“MSN is excited that Vivísimo chose to develop on top of our search platform to deliver innovative solution for FirstGov,” says Christopher Payne, corporate vice president, MSN Search at Microsoft. “Microsoft and Vivísimo are helping the federal government fully leverage the Web to help consumers find precisely what they are looking for with a best in class offering for the government domain.”