Topical connections between existing documents?
March 14, 2014 8:31 AM Subscribe
Does anybody know of any software solutions for manually capturing connections between specified regions within and between documents?
posted by Verg to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
(First post; already searched; please be gentle.)
Say I have a collection of large documents, and portions of some documents all deal with a common topic. I want to flag a passage within a document and define a connection to another passage elsewhere in the document, or a different document altogether. Upon seeing the connection and the text involved, a human would understand that the two passages are related.
The purpose of the notional software is to enable active reading and research on particular topics across various works. Importantly, I want to preserve the ability to quickly access the text surrounding each flagged passage to provide context. If I were dealing with paper books, it would be trivial to construct such a system using coloured flags and highlighters -- until I ran out of colours.
Granularity is important: Defining links between files (with a tagged filesystem like Tagsistent, for example) is insufficient, I want something at the level of words, sentences and paragraphs.
The document formats would likely be plain text, PDF, HTML, and OpenDocument Text. It is possible that the contents of the documents themselves would grow over time.
I would like to achieve this with a minimum of mental gymnastics such as remembering the names of tags or named links.
This is a tall and open-ended order, and it's entirely conceivable that I may need to build it myself. My point in asking is to see if anybody has thought about the same thing, or can suggest similar solutions that might lead in the right direction.