Monday, 15 June 2009

Google Squared - Google's new semantic search engine!

Thanks to Tony Liu who gave this hint:

Google, already the king of internet search, has rolled out an experimental new search product called ''Google Squared''.

Google Squared does not provide a list of links to Web pages, like with a traditional Google search, but presents information derived from a query in a spreadsheet-like grid called a ''square''.

Users of can then build, modify and refine their ''square'' through further Web searches.

``Unlike a normal search engine, Google Squared doesn't find webpages about your topic – instead, it automatically fetches and organizes facts from across the Internet,'' Google said in a preview of the product last month.

In a blog post, Google said Google Squared could be useful when a user needs to make multiple searches to find the information they want.

''It essentially searches the Web to find the types of facts you might be interested in, extracts them and presents them in a meaningful way,'' Google said.

''If your square isn't perfect at the beginning, it's easy to work with Google Squared to get a better answer,'' Google added.

The Mountain View, California-based Internet search giant cautioned that Google Squared remains experimental and the technology behind it ''is by no means perfect.''

Google Squared is exactly what I imagined of an ideal search engine's presentation of results. I really like graphical semantic search engine (e.g. kartoo) but very often you get lost or at least confused.
In "Google Squared" you get a screenshot of the website (or a picture of the webpage) and additional information. The words you searched for are (mostly) highlighted. - That's the way information need to be organized! :) (Well, is it the most optimal way for presenting information???) That's where libraries have to get to: an optimal intuitive presentation of information...! Librarians always tried to reach this goal-but are there any Best Practices regarding presenting information? What I like regarding the new version of cartoo is: you have several options to arrange the results in the way you favor :)

To get back to "Google Squared":
Google Squared isn't perfect: When searching for "librarianship" you get there is one result showing the "Internet Movie Database"-profile of Eric Wilson. Nowhere at this webpage was the word "librarian" or a similar one. Well could be an advertisement that changed now... - I wonder, if that's the place where personal data is going to be find in future... :( (Until now social networks like myspace, facebook etc. cannot be found via "Google Squared")

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

"Rambling librarian" about google wave and its possibilities for librarians

Through the posting of Infobib (posting via Planet Biblioblog) I found my way to this interesting posting: "Google wave: possibilities for librarians" who comments on the Day 2 keynote speech of Google presenting Google I/O. He shares his ideas of service possibilities and/ or librarians' way of work:

As a librarian, the Google Wave demo shows how it could transform the way we provide Enquiry and Advisory services. Or how we research, collaborate and publish documents.

Further on, the "Rambling librarian" explains it. Thanks to him to share his ideas and thoughts! :)

In my opinion it is worth -and essential- to think about possible developments. Let's go on to share ideas and visions :)

Background: What is Google wave?

As Google explains
Google Wave is a product that helps users communicate and collaborate on the web. A "wave" is equal parts conversation and document, where users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Google Wave is also a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves.

Friday, 5 June 2009

"where on earth..." - Finding database tutorials

During the last 2 weeks I was searching for database tutorials. The Online Tutorial LOTSE should bekome more interactive. Therefore we are looking for already existing tutorials to avoid doing the same thing twice. The goal is to cooperate with other institutions.
It was not that easy to collect these database tutorials because in Germany there is no portal that serves as a gateway to them. The only collection (mostly Bavarian institutions involved) I found was a collection of tutorials (already created and planned!) that offer a connection to Citavi.
For english tutorials there exists a gateway/ platform: The Animated Tutorial Sharing Project (ANTS) is a collaborative project presently involving librarians in Canada and the United States, but open to librarians elsewhere. It would be good if libraries of other countries would join, too. This platform is a good start. I really appreciate that there is an instruction how to create tutorials and how to put it online! The tutorials itself can be found at DSpace. Each tutorial is presented with its metadata (e.g. Issue date, institution, keywords ...). In some cases you also find information about which software (Camtasia, Captivate etc.) was used to create the tutorial. This is important to know if you would like to change it.
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