Are we getting bored with the little simple search box?
Today's buzz about Google's new search views reminded me to go and read this article from Boxes and Arrows that recently came across my radar about Advancing Advanced Search. If you are interested in the various ways 'advance' search is approached the article itself is quite useful as are many of the comments that follow. There really is no 'one way' to present advanced searching capabilities to users as it really depends on the users, the data being searched and the technologies but go take a look at some of the examples Steven Turbek highlights.
Over at the Google Labs Experimental page they are always highlighting different things that they are working on and i check in often- but honestly i still stick with the simple google search box (but yes i have learned a lot of advanced commands that i use in the search box because i am just geeky like that). However, every once in a while -quite randomly it seems- i get a glimpse into some new features that they are trying out.
Today's announcement of some new views had an interesting Google Map View search feature which could be useful for searching people, companies, events and places.
From the Google blog post:
Map view Suppose you're scouring the web trying to find out about biology conferences happening in your state. Or you'd like to sit back and enjoy some jazz around town. This information is on the web and accessible through regular web search, but probably spread out over many sites and pages. Unless one of these pages has a map, it might be hard to visualize all the locations at once. Map view solves this problem by plotting some of the key locations contained in your web results onto a map.
Here is a sample search for Web 2.0 conferences in the Bay Area. Ok results but could be better- but it is not all Google's fault.
OK great so what would really make this powerful?
You know how i have been mentioning Microformats and RDFa and other types of data standards that are about adding semantic information to web pages without affecting what the page looks like to the naked eye?
Well as the practice of embedding semantic information is adopted throughout the web community what impact can it have? Well for starters it will make a search tool like what Google Map View is trying to do be a quite powerful way to search for things like conferences, events etc....So for that, the Google is on the map with this one.