Send in your ideas. Deadline June 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI0 Discovery
Start: 2019-12
End: 2022-10
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Services + Applications

Tantum Search

Context-enhanced search driven by

Tantum Search’s goal is to present information in a fair and transparent context for the users. The platform lets users make an inventory of any information using schemas (like video, audio, paintings, ebooks, events, goods, services) and allows users to search through these entries on three axes: word, contextual and geo reference resolution. Providers of information can easily and without great effort add their information to the platform and make it available online – the platform automatically creates an interactive page which will be search engine optimized and users get free and unbiased access to search for goods and services. The ranking focuses on the search query and less on link popularity. Thus, ‘internet giants’ are not necessarily listed at the top due to their popularity and in addition, the ranking algorithm will be transparently released as open source so the community can optimize it.

  • The project's own website:

Why does this actually matter to end users?

Search and discovery are some of the most important and essential use cases of the internet. When you are in school and need to give a presentation or write a paper, when you are looking for a job, trying to promote your business or finding relevant commercial or public services you need, most of the time you will turn to the internet and more importantly the search bar in your browser to find answers. Searching information and making sure your name, company or idea can be discovered is crucial for users, but they actually have little control over this. Search engines decide what results you see, how your website can be discovered and what information is logged about your searches. What filters and algorithms are used is unclear for users. They can only follow the rules laid out for them, instead of deciding on their own what, where and how to find the information they are looking for.

One of the ways most commercial search engines decide what results you see, is something called link popularity. This is ma metric that indicates how many other other links point toward a particular website. Sites and domains that everyone refers to, usually end up at the top of your search results. Of course this does not mean that this website best answers your question, has the most informative content, or is even correct at all. And because this process of higher link popularity, higher search results ranking reinforces itself, all this mechanism does is narrow your search results and give you less useful or insightful information over time.

This project gives users and information providers back the control they deserve over online search and discovery, putting quality over popularity. Instead of counting the number of links, search is focused on the actual question of a user, querying on the words themselves, their context and location-based relevance. Extra ranking options allow you to search for things like eco-friendliness, giving you a broader range of search tools and perhaps a whole new look on the services and products you were looking for.

Logo NLnet: abstract logo of four people seen from above Logo NGI Zero: letterlogo shaped like a tag

This project was funded through the NGI0 Discovery Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.

This project is archived. Due to circumstances, the project as planned did not take place. This page is left as a placeholder, for transparency reasons and to perhaps inspire others to take up this work.