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Portkey Tricks part 1

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The Harry Potter Canon

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Hundreds of you have visited the Portkey now. I’m sure that a good many of you are wondering what the big deal is. So it searches synopses of the books. So what? Why the big kefuflle about such a simple tool? Over the next weeks I’m hoping to help answer that question by showing some of what the Portkey can actually do and a little bit about how it does it.

First of all, let me take you to an entry that has quite a bit of information. Click here to go to the entry about PS chapter 1, pages 8-9.

Some of what you see has been entered individually by the data entry team. John wrote the synopsis, for example. Our volunteers entered the location in canon, the characters appearing, the setting and timeframe, and the icons and tags.

Some of what you see, though, is pulled in on the fly as the various tabs are displayed. When you click on the Reader’s Guide, for example, the program pulls from a database of commentary entries anything which falls into that range of pages. The same is true for the images.

This is where the true magic is taking place. As the Lexicon’s databases expand, you see, all the information we have will be tagged, iconned, and given ID codes to connect it to places in the books. We will be adding codes to the essays, to encyclopedia entries, to timeline events, to characters, images, and so on. When you ‘Explore’ a section of canon in the Portkey, you will have available all the vast resources of the Lexicon at your fingertips.

This is the ultimate Harry Potter research tool.

Let’s look at an example of how this works. Click here to view the ‘Explore’ entry for Fantastic Beasts pages xvi-xvii. If you click on the Timelines and Calendars tab, you’ll see two “Related Timeline Events.” No one entered these specifically on this page. Instead, when you clicked on the link, these events were automatically pulled out of the Timeline database because they have been given a code that matches this part of canon.

You won’t find these links yet for much of the Portkey. That’s because we’re still busy databasing everything. As we go, more and more information will start appearing as you explore.

There’s a lot more to tell you about. Just wait until you see what we’re going to do with the icons!

Commentary

Pensieve (Comments)

  • Remi

    Steve, I love the way your mind works! I never would have thought of anything like the portkey. For those of us who adore the books, re-reading them over and over again with as much relish as the first time, this truly is the ultimate research tool. Bravo!

  • hpboy13

    This Portkey thing just keeps getting better and better. Boy, are you guys gonna have a heck of a job after DH comes out, updating everything.

  • omikse

    This is just wonderful…thank-you all for your hard work…I don’t know what we would do without you!

  • Graymayne

    In the Fantastic Beasts section used as an example, I noticed that in the final section a tag had been mis-spelled “Welch” Green dragon instead of Welsh.

  • Thanks Graymayne!
    We appreciate folks alerting us to this kind of mistake. 🙂

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