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Credit: Image by gagilas on Flickr. Some rights reserved

A new open source tool called Pilgrim received a grant from the Knight Foundation on Tuesday to develop into a collaborative research platform where users can collect data, links and images from a variety of sites.

The team behind Are.na, a site for building ideas and putting media and text together into collections, was awarded $35,000 (£22,900) from the Prototype Fund to work on Pilgrim.

Daniel Pianetti, one of the project leads, said the tool does not work like popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

Instead, a Pilgrim search will start from a precise source, such as a particular website or online paper, as opposed to “receiving millions of broad results” from all over the internet.

"You gather data from your search term, such as related images, links and text, which you can then export to your Google Docs account, your Are.na platform or a folder on your computer,” Pianetti said.

“For example, if a journalist wants to compare how both the US and Russian media depicts the Ukraine conflict with images, you can ask Pilgrim to search through all the American and Russian media websites that you want to focus on with the keyword ‘Ukraine conflict’.

"It will then download all the images the sites use to cover the conflict, and you will have two big folders of media which you can compare and research,” he said.

Although Pilgrim will be a stand-alone tool, it will be initially tested on Are.na, which has an active community of 8,000 users.

“The fundamental part of research is not only finding the things you want to find, but also to find the unknown," said Pianetti.

"With Pilgrim you can always find a link inside a link, that you wouldn’t necessarily find in other traditional ways of doing research.”

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