Demonstration Web Service for FAST Geographic Headings Now Available

The Web Service underlying the mapFAST map demo is now available for public use. Developers can use this Web Service to develop their own applications to discover FAST headings near a geographic coordinate location.

MapFAST is a mashup prototype that uses a Google Maps interface to present FAST Geographic authority records. The prototype presents a different way to look at subject access to bibliographic records. It also demonstrates a strength of the subject faceting approach of FAST over coordinated subject headings.

The Web Service uses the RESTful standard. It takes the chosen geographic coordinates and returns a list of FAST record headings. Additional information from the FAST authority records is also returned, including alternate forms of the heading and the type of geographic feature the heading represents, such as a populated place or a mountain. Selected FAST Event Headings that can be geographically located are also returned in the list. The returned headings are listed in order of how close they are to the requested location.

The map interface allows for simple selection of a location, and displays information from the FAST authority record along with links to enter the location directly as a search into either or Google Books.

Documentation of the Web Service is available on the OCLC Developer Network site.

Library Web Chic has built a couple of prototypes using the MapFAST Web Service. They're linked from her post on the OCLC Developer Network blog.

About FAST

The Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) schema reworks LCSH's authority rules so that they are easier to use, understand, and apply. The result is a schema designed to handle a large volume of materials with less effort and cost.

Currently the FAST authority file contains over 1,600,000 authority records. The authority file is extensively indexed to support a variety of search options. Documentation on searching the FAST authority file is available on the FAST web site. The full FAST authority file can be licensed for non-commercial use.

The FAST team continues to explore collaborative efforts to improve FAST, and is very interested in working with the community to further enhance the schema. Team members also are exploring ways to allow the community to add and/or correct information in FAST records, beginning with geographic coordinates and feature type. The FAST database now includes a link in the geographic authorities display to allow user input of the coordinates. Additional options are under consideration for augmenting and/or correcting FAST authorities.

More Information

MapFAST activity page

MapFAST Demo

MapFAST Web Service description

MapFAST Web Service documentation

FAST: Faceted Application of Subject Terminology, by Lois Mai Chan and Edward T. O'Neill

FAST activity page

For more information:

Rick Bennett
Consulting Software Engineer
OCLC Research

Robert C. Bolander
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research