Open Records Frustration-Poorly Indexed Digital Files Versus Paper (2013)Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 
No Bragging Rights There

Open Records Frustration-Poorly Indexed Digital Files Versus Paper (2013)
 


2 July 2013 at 11:20:26 AM
salon

I have quite often gone to the Somervell County clerk's office in the past to look through archived paper documents. I was lucky, I guess, that the clerk knew where the boxes were in the back, and they were organized by year. So, I could get a box and look through the paper, flipping through and putting aside the documents that were not germane while scanning the page for the information I wanted.

Sometime in the last year, Somervell County decided to no longer keep paper archives of at least some documents,  to include Somervell County Commissioner court documents such as agendas and meeting minutes. All in PDF digital format now and accessible through a system one can go into the courthouse to use. (Or, alternatively, if you do an open records request of the Public Information Officer, who is Candy Garrett, that person would be using that system to fulfill your request).

The problem with this is that the documents are not fully text searchable, ie, run through an OCR-Optical character recognition-program, but only have a keyword category with them. If you are looking, say, for a given company and when it might have had dealings before the court, you can't find that out as the keywords are very general descriptors. For example, I wanted to know who and which companies have been given tax abatements by Somervell County for the past years since 2009. There are no keywords for tax abatement. So, I would need to bring up every single document in the system that has to do with Somervell County minutes or attachments and look at each one of them.

Now, you may say, you were willing to do that if it was paper. And yes, I was and am. Reason is that it is much much easier, at least for me, to look at a paper document or flip through sections than it is to click on a document, have to zoom in to read it, probably scroll around on the page to try to see different parts that won't show on a smaller monitor, and then do the same thing with the next page. It isn't only me. This affects the people who are fulfilling the open records requests-if they get a query asking for X data, they would also have to bring up each document and peruse it to see if it looks relevant.

I actually do agree with the idea of replacing paper backup with electronic documents but only where digital is actually not just semi-useful but superior to having paper. The current system at Somervell County is only semi-useful. The answer to making a functional system is to make the documents have full text searches, not just for a keyword. If we were talking about technology from 10 years ago, this might be a pipe dream, but even my own copy of Adobe Acrobat allows me to do OCR on my PDF (and I am not using the most current version of Acrobat!) . It might be that the company that supplies this system has no way to do full text searches on documents, but maybe it does and it's simply not being implemented. If the latter, anyone could look for, say, Mesa Tech, and have it pull up any agenda items or minutes in which the words "Mesa Tech" appear. Or, suppose I was wanting to look at golf course vendors; having a full text search would be not only practical but optimal.

A system that cannot do this is not up to date with the technologies of today, cause more work for both the requestor and the person who is the Chief Public Information Officer who has to fulfill these requests. We suggest that Somervell County come technologically up to date by adding full text searches to archived documents.


Permalink Tags:          
     Views: 904 
Latest Blog Post by salon -Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Calls Trump a Total Joke (Keene, Texas)
More Posts You Might Enjoy
Shouldn't Press Releases be identified as such in newspapers? Texans Wearing Pink
Video-Somervell County Commissioners Court meeting 5/6/2019
How much has Somervell County spent since Nov 2017 on Andy Lucas' ongoing case State of Texas ex Rel Darrell Best v Paul Harper?
Video-Crystal Roseman of Nationwide Insurance Presentation at Somervell County Com. Ct 2019

 You! Leave a Comment! You Know you Want To!
You must be a registered member to comment on the blog.
Your first post is held pending approval to make sure you're not a spammer bot

 Not registered? Or you can login!

LOGON - Name:Password:

New poster comments are moderated, meaning they won't show up until approved... or not.  Be patient-we have lives outside this blog, so it might take awhile You want to be rude? totally stupid? inappropriate? Racist? Bigoted? Flame war baiter? Your post may be deleted. Spammers or people posting pretend interest comments but really wanting to hawk their latest book or sell stuff or govt propaganda flacks won't see their posts published. Comments do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the site owner(salon).
If you have a problem with logging in or registering, please speak up right away. Love your comments. Oh, except spammers
More on commenting



Click Here for Main Page



Guest
Today Is  
Wednesday, October 23, 2019






Latest Posts

Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Calls Trump a Total Joke (Keene, Texas)
salon 10/22/2019

Here's Creep Trump Giving the Finger to Female Astronauts
salon 10/22/2019

Impeaching Trump- Is it acceptable for a president to pressure a foreign.....
salon 10/22/2019

Why are Paul Manafort's defense attorneys helping Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman today?
salon 10/10/2019

Money Laundering 101- Trump seeks to get rid of regulations on offshore money
salon 10/10/2019

Pete Sessions wrote letter then got lots of moolah from Republican PAC
salon 10/10/2019


More Blog Headlines
 



Comments

salon > Quick update on this, via Pacer-Click on pic to see larger (Turk Case Update- Telephone Conference Hearing Set for March 8 2019 )

salon > Lance Been awhile. Send me an email at salon@glenrose.net with the names of who you're talking about, above. Also, the newspaper editor is no longer local, ie officed here, but the paper is run.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

LanceHall > I'd love to see the Hotel Guest books and see if Jacene's name shows up long before he officially *found* the tracks.  I'd like to know if the Visitor's Bureau has emails wit.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )

LanceHall > I see the land or that part of it is now in the hands of Glen Rose's own Corky Underwood. Is Jacene still involved?   I had already informed the Visitor Bureau manager (who's.... (What Happened to Jerry Jacene? )








Home | Blog Home | About | News | Piazza | Calendar | Audio/Video/Open Rec | Search
Write!  |profile | quotes |
top Daily | top Weekly |top Month | top Year | Top All! | archives | subscribe RSS

 

%>