ClearForest Gnosis

…is a terrible name for an intriguing application.


[Click on the image for the full screenshot.]

A product of the ClearForest Company (which surely must make people think of clear-cut forests…no?), Gnosis is a Firefox plugin that analyses a web page or a selected portion of text within it in order to cull certain terms of interest. The categories of “meaning” it tries to recognize are such things as company, person, continent, technology, product, organization… These it highlights in different colours and displays in a sidebar. Clicking on any of the discovered items takes you to those items on the web page; and right-clicking on an item offers you various look-up possiblities: look up in Google, Wikipedia, Technorati, Google maps (for geographical items) or Google FinanceI hadn’t seen Google Finance before. It’s pretty impessive, I think. See, e.g. the page for Dell that it produced, leading from the Dell link Gnosis found on our current page. (for companies).

Gnosis might be quite useful if you need to provide context for a web document that’s not too technically obscure or too abstract. It’ll give you quick links to the people, companies, cities etc. that might educate you quickly, if time is short and you can’t use the normal read-and-search techniques.


  1. Thanks for the write-up on Gnosis! Just a short note to let you know that a new version is in the Mozilla approval process right now. Besides some basic performance improvements and bug fixes – this version will allow you to learn more about the extracted entities by just “hovering” over them with your mouse. Quite a bit more convenient than opening the sidebar.