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Searching items in vertiGIS applications

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  • Gareth Evans

    Hi Wouter D'hollander, thanks for bringing this up. TLDR: great idea, but it's complicated.

    Yes, our search methods are what I'd call Traditional Search. I think (and, I may be wrong - it happens a lot ) the behaviour you're looking for is known as Full-Text Search.

    An important factor to consider here is that we depend on ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online for our data storage and the search APIs that Esri provides. From my limited testing, AGE & AGOL are both limited in the same way: they only do traditional search. Esri's ArcGIS Enterprise docs (Search reference) say they do full text search ("The Portal uses a powerful search engine to index information and to allow full text searching on it.") though from what I can see that doesn't match on the substring the way you're referring to. 

    For example, in AGOL I have several items with the word "example" in the title. I can find them if search for "example"

    And searching "ample" gives me 0 results

    So, we see the same behaviour in AGE & AGOL.

    To my knowledge, AGOL & AGE use ElasticSearch as it's underlying database. It looks like ElasticSearch does support Full-Text Search (according to their docs)

    I'm not a software architect, but I can tell you that to do a search you need an index that supports it. A full-text search implementation on top of AGE/AGOL would require an index on top of it's data. I'm not sure if this is possible for us (VertiGIS) to index this data and provide a full text search on top of this. 

    MongoDB have a great write up on Full-Text Search & the different implementations of searching here: What is Full-Text Search and How Does it Work?

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