Case Studies

Utah State Library, Utah Government Digital Library

The Utah State Library (USL) needed a public facing repository for their collection of state publications. PTFS developed a solution based on the Knowvation platform to manage a diverse set of content from multiple Utah state agencies, counties and cities. The site is public facing and provides an easy and intuitive interface to search and discover content. Full text search capability enables searching across every word of every page of every document.
The Knowvation Digital Library Repository provides online, long-term, public access to state publications consisting of documents, images, audio, and video files. In addition, the platform is available to local libraries across the state to build their own digital repositories, independent of the USL, relevant to their communities and/or collections. USL has had a statutory duty since 2006 to provide online permanent public access to state publications (Utah Code Ann. Sec. 9-7-208). It extends from one of the State Library’s core missions of collecting and providing access to state publications. The Utah Government Digital Library (UGDL) has used Knowvation as their digital library repository platform from its inception in 2007. PTFS has been the sole provider of hosting (Amazon Web Services), support and maintenance since the system first went live.
  • The UGDL solution provides permanent public access and digital preservation for Utah State Agency documents.
  • The system provides convenient 24×7 access to public records via the Internet.
  • The system allows the state to keep in compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • The Knowvation platform is flexible extensible and expandable. Utilizing Amazon Web Services for hosting allow real-time scalability that allows other local libraries across the state to build their own digital repositories while maintaining performance ad response times that provide a gratifying user experience.

San Diego Lands Record Management System

In the County of San Diego, CA, Maps, plans, and records related to land information could only be obtained by going to the counties survey records office. The county wanted to provide a solution that could deliver land information online and allow users to purchase the data via an e-commerce capability.
The county selected PTFS’ and our Knowvation GS application to meet the needs of San Diego County’s customers for simplified discovery, review and online ordering of content from the Survey Record System (SRS). The system can be searched geographically using an online map, or by metadata such as address, intersection, record number, etc.
Map Data is provided by the San Diego County Esri server that provides lot/parcel data and county maps. Knowvation GS was configured to consume the map services provided by this server. PTFS implemented an Online Payment System service by integrating Knowvation’s shopping cart with PayPal. Esri desktop software is used to convert incoming survey TIFF files into GeoTIFFs that are loaded into Knowvation GS.
Initially it was request that PTFS utilize (MS Azure) to the server, storage, and networking required to host the SRS Knowvation GS instance. PTFS is migrating the system form Azure to Amazon Web Services. PTFS interfaces with cloud based resources to allocate the necessary resources to provide a secure, high performance, fail-safe solution.
  • The GeoTIFFs and other San Diego County land information are discoverable over the internet via a geospatial map search, metadata or text searches and can be overlaid on a base map in the users interface.
  • The information can be discovered purchased online immediately 24×7 at the convenience of the user.
  • In the land record office kiosk(s)using Knowvation are now available to provide walk-in customers with the ability to discover and print large and regular format surveys and other land information.

PTFS created a web-based content management solution which supports the State Department end user access to building files in every country in the world.

Department of State

The Department of State (DoS) Overseas Building Operations (OBO) Office is the world’s largest global real estate operation managing 22,000 active properties in 170 countries and 380 cities. The amount of daily data flow, decisions and documentation is huge, fast moving and highly complex and are dispersed among offices all over the world. The active management records include archival files dating back 200 years to the first diplomatic posts. These files contain paper, parchment, photo copies, carbon paper copies, faxes, hand written memos and printouts of born-digital documents. Since the files are in hardcopy and scattered between offices, access was difficult and inefficient, and OBO was concerned about losing the files to water or fire damage.

OBO contracted with PTFS to digitize the back files. OBO also asked PTFS to create a global records management system to capture and archive historic and current records, create archival files with advanced metadata, provide end user multi-language search and retrieval tools and create automated reporting and analysis systems. PTFS was selected because of its proven document conversion process, network records management technology, advanced metadata architecture, global language tools, federal engineering services, vendor integration skills and archive project management experience.
PTFS provided an experienced management and technical team with critical expertise in information technology, library and archives and federal systems and specifications. PTFS implemented their content management application, Knowvation GS, and led the development, testing and deployment of next generation information architecture for global records management in this major federal agency. Documents were prepared for high volume production digitization and automated metadata creation. Documents were processed using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and searchable PDF/A files were created. Classified documents were processed in a secure environment and all staff handling sensitive information had clearances and training in proper document imaging processes.
Knowvation GS provides a Web-based network solution which supports the State Department administrator and end user access to building files in every country in the world. OBO is able to easily and efficiently search through its massive collections of documents and other electronic records. By geo-tagging all documents and integrating with Google Earth for map and GIS data exploitation, Knowvation GS allows users to visually track its assets. Hardcopy files have been digitized precluding permanent loss due to fire, flood and other perils. The software became well-known for its performance after the earthquake in Haiti when OBO management was able to provide electronic data on all U.S. assets in Haiti within minutes of the disaster, allowing OBO analysts to get real-time feedback on the state of their overseas properties.

Defense Technical Information Center

The Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC), serves the community as the largest central resource for DoD funded scientific and technical information (STI) available today. They decided to consolidate their ten existing Information Analysis Centers (IACs), each covering limited subject areas, into three IACs covering much broader subject areas. As part of this consolidation, DTIC decided to merge the classified hardcopy repositories from the IACs to a central location. DTIC routinely needed digital images for certain files, so they needed to establish a digitization on demand capability which then became a requirement that the entirety of the hardcopy collection be digitized.
PTFS offered a solution catered specifically to DTIC’s problem by managing over 35,000 cubic feet of material in our secure and environmentally controlled location. This process began with PTFS moving, inventorying and cataloguing classified hardcopy STI. Next, our Digital Library Solution (DLS) was set up to store metadata for the transferred STI. The final step required the trained staff at PTFS to retrieve, scan/digitize, and transmit digital images and associated metadata on demand to requests from the government. Digital images created were also ingested and managed by the DSL for future search and discovery. Transitioning to the digitization of the entirety of the STI, PTFS is currently converting all the assets to digital.
DTIC reaped many benefits from undergoing this transformation including a significant cost reduction and process efficiencies. DTIC saves money by storing all of their materials in one location. Previously, much time was wasted when requesting materials due to the multiple storage locations. Now, with everything in one location, it’s easier to retrieve and send requested materials. PTFS’ DLS was provided in this project which enables the search and discovery across metadata and full text documents. DTIC initially reduced costs by digitizing only hardcopies that are requested on demand. With the new focus on the digitization of all DTIC STI, they will permanently eliminate their physical storage footprint cost as well as being able to expand the dissemination of STI information as they will have access to digital materials to share with their end users.

“These government websites [are] the best for providing more interactive tools for the public and aiding the Obama Administration in their goal to increase Government transparency.”

Government Publishing Office – govinfo


The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has been tasked to build an easily manageable repository for over 60 million digitized government publications, terabytes of born-digital documents as well as data associated with GPO’s federal publishing requirements. Not only does GPO need a way to store every published federal document that dates back to the late 1700’s Federalist Papers but it also needs to make the documents available to the public through a Web portal. GPO has a vision of a digital content system that allows federal content creators to easily create and submit content that can be digitally preserved.

Eventually, the public will to be able to search, view, download and print authenticated documents through a Web portal. The types of content that would be available include text, graphics, video, audio and other forms as they emerge. Content will be available for Web searching and Internet viewing, downloading and printing and as document masters for conventional and on-demand printing, or other dissemination methods. This project required vendor capabilities in specific library technologies as well as content management expertise.


GPO chose PTFS as the lead development contractor because of their library science, content management, and digitization experience. PTFS holds a current library contract with GPO to host their integrated library system (ILS) and has information system integration experience building large document repositories. All these unique capabilities come together to provide GPO a solid partner in making this project, govinfo, a success.

  • Increased efficiency thanks to full staffing solution including librarians, subject matter experts, IT professionals, as well digitization experts.
  • Streamlined process and system flows.
  • Knowvation Enterprise content management application cited as a best practice model in multiple government publications.

govinfo named one of the “10 great Government websites” by Government Computer News

Naval Research Lab – TORPEDO


Today, TORPEDO Ultra v2.5.0 is the Ruth H. Hooker Research Library’s upgraded retrieval system for searching NRL’s locally loaded Digital Library. This powerful new version of the TORPEDO Ultra system currently allows searching across millions of full text articles from several publishers and additional publication are continually added on a regular basis. There are a total of 11,154,772 documents covering 91,022,939 pages currently in the digital library repository.

Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) operates as the Navy’s full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly-based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. Research is conducted toward maritime applications of new and improved materials, techniques, equipment, systems and ocean, atmospheric, space sciences and related technologies. The Ruth H. Hooker Research Library offers a full range of traditional and digital library resources to enhance and support the research programs of NRL and Office of Naval Research.


PTFS developed a digital library and online portal, known as The Optical Retrieval Project Electronic Documents Online (TORPEDO), for NRL beginning in 1995, and has supported ongoing functional enhancements to the digital library, as well as content expansion, for the past fifteen years. The project started with a goal to share and network a collection of CD-ROM databases for the NRL research community. PTFS developed a solution around a commercial repository application called EFS from Excalibur Technologies.

In 1995, traditional web browsers as we’re accustomed to today did not exist, so PTFS deployed EFS at a desk top level to network approximately 5,000 NRL employees and contract staff. In parallel with developing the repository, PTFS digitized 60,000 technical reports (3.3M pages) into image/text PDF’s. PTFS also created an online portal called Infonet to serve as an interface to the repository.

Once the Web Browser became a stable platform for digital library development, the NRL solution was ported for use with the NCA Mosaic Web browser. TORPEDO was based on Convera’s RetrievalWare search engine product. Infonet was also migrated to a web based environment and renamed InfoWeb.

PTFS’s staff currently performs on-site support for a variety of tasks at the NRL library. PTFS staff has included senior and expert systems engineers, computer programmers, database administrators, library technicians, scanning technicians, web designers, and computer operators. This contract has been renewed each year since 1995.

  • Smooth integration of new data feeds.
  • Nearly half of the TORPEDO files were converted from large TIFFs to more manageable PDFs, enhancing searching capabilities and limiting file space requirements.
  • Greatly reduced time between content creation and posting to TORPEDO Library. Enhanced security to ensure authorized access to content.