Use Case Studies

Case Studies


National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

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All documents were digitized which improved access to the files. Knowvation enables good search, browse and discovery including full text searching across PDF’s.
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“What most impressed me about this project was the staff, facilities, and equipment that provided the flexibility to develop a solution that best fit our needs and provided us a turnkey solution.”

– John E. Needham, Staff Officer, NGA

NGA’s long-term digital preservation, digital accessibility and dissemination requirements were solved with a turn-key solution developed by PTFS. First, all the materials were shipped to PTFS’s classified facility to be handled by PTFS’ expert digitization team. The documents were digitized following certified processes for classified documents. The final digital object for each file included a full text searchable image/text PDF and an associated metadata record.

PTFS’s technical team purchased a server and installed/configured/tested the operating system, database and Knowvation, PTFS’s digital archiving and asset management software. This software provides the ability to store, search, retrieve, import, export, browse and effi­ciently manage large digital collections of both digitized and born-digital materials. As a final step, PTFS installed the system at NGA headquarters, loaded all of the converted digital material onto the server and trained NGA end users and system administrators to use the system for research, digital storage, and preservation purposes.

Knowvation Chipping View

The National-Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) provides timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security. It is crucial for the Agency personnel to quickly access documents as well as preserve and secure important classified information. The Office of the Inspector General maintains document files for four divisions: Audits, Investigations, Inspections, and Plans and Programs.

The Office of Inspector General maintains an archive collection of 550,000 document pages for their respective divisions consisting of both Classified and Unclassified materials. These documents were physically stored in one large document storage room, and personnel had to routinely find documents to satisfy ongoing operational and management requests. The documents generally consisted of 8.5” x 11.0” paper pages that were assembled into multi-page documents using a variety of fasteners. The process for finding documents was inefficient and unproductive.

The Office of Inspector General wanted to create an electronic repository for the documents that would allow personnel to easily access documents from users’ workstations. The first step of the process required digitizing (or making electronic files) all the documents. The next step required establishing an electronic files repository so they could be organized in a logical manner. The Office of Inspector General wanted an application that would allow personnel to store, search, retrieve, import, export and browse documents. Highly accurate searching, especially using keywords across the text of the documents, was essential because the collection was large, diverse, and still growing.

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Department of State

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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.

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.

Department of State Map

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.

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Utah Department of Corrections

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Knowvation solved Utah Department of Corrections’s large criminal record storage problem by creating several integral electronic document repositories.

Utah Department of Corrections Logo

Utah Department of Corrections chose PTFS’s Knowvation for its easy to use interface and its pricing for perpetual licensing with no hidden fees, which allowed for an affordable solution even as content increased.

The Prison established a number of document libraries within Knowvation to maintain records within their appropriate categories and for ease of use. One library consists of Offender Records containing release papers, fingerprints, and official judgment(s); a second library retains Probation and Parole documents with pre- and post-evaluations; a third library consists of Medical Records including x-rays and physicals; a fourth library contains Inmate Accounting Records which includes payroll, deposits, and receipts; while a fifth library was established to hold Mail Property which retains mail inventory and information on items issued to each prisoner.

Today the administrative offices of the two main Utah State Prisons now use Knowvation to retain all records for each state prisoner.

Utah State Prison Wasatch Facility


  • Large amounts of physical space are now freed from paper file storage and documents are now preserved in digital format.
  • Robust content management software is current and supported, allowing administrators to easily access a number of unique documents for an individual across different libraries within one digital repository.
  • Perpetual licenses offer an affordable and easily scalable solution.

Utah Department of Corrections’s current system for tracking offender records had become out-of-date and was no longer supported. The Prison also retained a building filled with old paper files in compliance with regulations requiring records retention for up to 75 years or until the offender died. It was clear that the State needed a digital document system that allowed for easy access and storage while maintaining several different types of documents related to each offender.

The documents were diverse including: medical records, court orders, personal mail and others. The Prison needed a robust system that would not only store past records but, as prisoner statuses changed, would be easy to update. The new system needed to meet all these requirements while keeping within the State’s budget.

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Wyoming State Library, Wyoming Newspaper Project

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The State of Wyoming needed to preserve a historic newspaper collection while making its contents available for public research. PTFS digitized the content and created a Knowvation based repository.

The Wyoming State Library wanted to create a digital archive of their historic newspaper collection. Their collection of historic newspapers from local counties and municipalities dates back to the 1800’s and had been preserved on microfilm. They wanted to digitize the 850,000 pages of newspaper, following current best practices and standards, to preserve the microfilm while making the newspaper available to the public.

The Wyoming State Library also has a collection of trademarks and trademark applications that needed to be digitized and made readily available. The Library envisioned a digital archiving/asset management system to store, search, retrieve, browse, and manage the digitized electronic newspaper and trademark collection. Since the collection was large and growing, they needed an application that could perform full text searching and utilize more sophisticated, so they could locate document hits with pinpoint accuracy.

Wyoming State Library, Wyoming Tribune Newspaper Clipping

PTFS’s proposal included digitization services for the microfilm newspaper and trademark document collections, a fully configured server, installing the digital archiving application, loading the images into the system, and training. The State chose to partner with PTFS because of their library science and digitization expertise.

PTFS also worked with the Library to create a plan for archiving new content as it is created, so that the collection will always be current. All these unique capabilities came together to make this important project a success.


  • The existing collection of microfilm was preserved so it will not undergo further degradation from a microfilm reader.
  • Any potential user with access to a web browser can now access the entire newspaper collection.
  • Knowvation provides sophisticated searching tools so hits within a document can be found with pinpoint accuracy.

Wyoming Newspaper ProjectLearn More About Knowvation

Government Publishing Office – govinfo

GPO govinfo logos

“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 Computer News

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 govinfo Interface


  • 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

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.

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Naval Research Lab – TORPEDO

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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.


  • 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.

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.

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Defense Technical Information Center

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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.

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.

DTIC Warehouse

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.

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