Zanran – a new data search engine

Arthur Weiss Online & Search Issues 4 Comments

Zanran is a new niche search tool focused on finding structured / numeric data on the web – from tables, graphs and charts. It offers a different approach for finding such information and so promises to be a useful addition to the armoury of search tools.

Google Squared – tabulate results instantly

Arthur Weiss Online & Search Issues Leave a Comment

Google Squared is a new addition to the Google Labs portfolio of products being tested by Google. Launched on June 3, it looks as though it’s aimed at offering an ability to get more from simple searches – perhaps a bit like WolframAlpha. It’s still very much a beta-test addition to the Google product range so there are bound to be some holes. What happens is that you enter a search term and a spreadsheet type page appears with various headings in the leftmost column, followed by a description and various other (generally) relevant columns. It’s an interesting way of using Google’s data – i just wish that the results were more consistent and accurate. Entering in the search term Planets should be a perfect way of testing how the spreadsheet approach works – and unfortunately it doesn’t, at least not completely. The Planets search gives a list on the …

WolframAlpha

Arthur Weiss Online & Search Issues Leave a Comment

I’m still not sure what to make of WolframAlpha – the new “computational search tool”. I like what it can do – as a way of solving crosswords, or doing math calculations. For a lot of information it’s probably easier to use than Wikipedia but i can’t really see how it will help in most business type queries – at least it won’t yet. If you want to find a word where you know some letters it’s great. Type in _i_i_i and you’ll get the answer “bikini” and also “militia” – two words that match that pattern. Put in an equation and you’ll get a graph, or a chemical or molecular symbol and you’ll get information on the element or compound. Enter in stock codes and you’ll get some company information but too often the result is “Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input.” You’ll get this if …