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'deep Web Search' May Help Scientists


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 What you see when you do a basic Web search is only the tip of the iceberg; most of the information is buried in the Deep Web.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is collaborating on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency platform for searching the Deep Web.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is collaborating on Memex, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency platform for searching the Deep Web.

Memex goes further than traditional search engines, examining not just standard text-based content, but also images, videos, pop-up ads, forms, scripts, and many other forms of data that are available on the web, but not indexed by search engines.

"We're augmenting Web crawlers to behave like browsers--in other words, executing scripts and reading ads in ways that you would when you usually go online," says JPL's Chris Mattmann.

JPL is one of 17 teams working on Memex and is focusing its efforts on finding ways of using Memex to facilitate searching for scientific data. The visual search capabilities of Memex could be especially useful, making it easy to search for visual information, such as spectrographic data. It also could make it easier for researchers to find published scientific data sitting in databases on the Deep Web, such as NASA's Physical Oceanography Distributed Active Archive Center and the vast amount of data generated by NASA spacecraft on a daily basis.

From Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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