Closing the Degrees of Separation

Previous U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is the daughter of George Levine, who was captain of the Sands Copa Space in the Rat Pack days, which “Mr. Home entertainment” Jack Entratter indelibly infused with Vegas-style appeal as an executive at the Sands Hotel and Gambling establishment. And the linkages go on …

But you might not have been able to figure out these connections if it weren’t for University Libraries’ new Navigator tool. Navigator is an online research study web browser that utilizes connected data ingrained in the Libraries’ Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Task digital collection to create imagined links between individuals, companies, and communities; permitting users to physically see relationships along with observe how those connections have evolved with time.

“When you utilize online search engines to conduct a Web search, you get a long list of search results with no context,” said Cory Lampert, head of University Libraries’ digital collections. “With nonproprietary connected open information, there is no ambiguity and connections in between individuals, organizations, and neighborhoods are immediately linked for users, which results in richer discovery of details.”

Connected data is developed when previously separated or unattainable information trapped in online documents and databases is cracked open and transformed into an open web information format that computer systems can arrange instantly. Connected information extends the reach of details, allowing it to reveal the interconnectedness of people, locations, and things more thoroughly, often, accurately, and– in the case of the University Libraries– visually.

“This will be the manner in which individuals look for information moving forward,” Lampert stated. “Smarter results sets can conserve users time and offer them with brand-new methods to dive into simply the aspects of the information that are significant to their research study.”

Lampert and just recently retired metadata curator Silvia Southwick have led University Libraries’ connected information charge, using the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project as the pilot project to construct Navigator. In addition to making it much easier for researchers to explore the digital collection and visualize findings, Navigator links the collection to libraries, universities, and other info repositories so anybody anywhere can access the information anytime. Materials in the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Task digital collection are visible through a quick keyword search by means of its regional site, connected data search engines, connected data browsers, and topical or regional aggregators.

“The task opens up our information for additional discovery,” Southwick stated. “The true awareness of this task’s success will come as we continue to connect to other repositories with more of our information published online and made quickly visible.”

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