Thursday, 4 June 2009

Google Squared - can someone explain?



What is Google Squared
?
According to the party line, the Google blog, Google Squared is, "an experimental search tool that collects facts from the web and presents them in an organized collection, similar to a spreadsheet. If you search for [roller coasters], Google Squared builds a square with rows for each of several specific roller coasters and columns for corresponding facts, such as image, height and maximum speed"

WebProNews
offers a more of an explanation - in part

Google squared is a Google Lab, which takes a category (like US presidents, roller coasters, or digital cameras) and attempts to create a starter "square" of information, automatically fetching and organizing facts from across the web.

Users can modify their squares by removing rows and columns they don't like, or by adding new rows and columns. Google Squared will attempt to fetch relevant facts.

Semantic Web
Why do all this? Well for Google, it's one of their contributions to the emerging semantic web - i.e. contextual searches - people - place - subject: or shop, price, mountaineering.

Or, more prosaically, a search engine which trys to figure out the the context of your query and builds a search response around the contextual detail of your subject matter - beginning with, for example, James Cook, explorer, not James Cook, pornographer.

And yes, I made this up - as far as I know there isn't a James Cook pornographer - and by the by, I'm more than happy to remain indifferent to a correction.

Google Labs
Also, for Google, its definitely an experiment, which is why it sits inside their Google Labs space - not quite ready for prime time - lets let people play and make it better.

How do you drive it!
I get semantic search - but right now - I just don't get Google Squared - call me thicko - but, hey , how do you drive it? No doubt I will get there. However, currently, I am taking heart from the thread of a local librarian mailing list. They don't get it either. And that, is, frankly, a bit of a relief.

The video
Being Google, of course there is the video - lets all try it, and see if we get any further.

4 comments:

Alastair Smith said...

G² seems to be a way of creating an ordered table that may not be available in a single place on the Web, but for which the information may be available in a number of places. It gives you a summary table that you then fine tune manually. Here's one I've partially built on NZ Great Rides (aka national cycleway). I started with blank table and entered the Otago Rail Trail, Google suggested other rides, and columns like image, distance, location etc. A lot of Google's suggestions weren't useful, but enough to keep going. In some cases I could enter information manually.
It's a demo of how the semantic web may work in practice: it provides the "heavy lifting" of search while a person selects the blocks and constructs a useful set of information.

bosandals said...

G'day Paul,

here's an interesting take on Google Squared
http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/06/google-squared-is-an-exponenti.html

ooroo

Les

Satheesh said...

Google Squared appears to be similar to my patent application:

Frankly, I am getting a Déjà vu effect while going through the “Google Squared” application because it appears to be very similar in function to my United States patent application which was filed on April 12, 2007 and as publicly disclosed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on October 16, 2008, when the patent application was published.

My patent application is titled as “Method And System For Research Using Computer Based Simultaneous Comparison And Contrasting Of A Multiplicity Of Subjects Having Specific Attributes Within Specific Contexts” bearing Document Number “20080256023” and Inventor name “Nair Satheesh” which may be viewed at http://patft.uspto.gov/ upon Patent Applications: Quick Search.

Google Squared appears to be using at least some if not many of the same methods and systems as set forth by me more than two years ago in my patent application. In fact there are many more methods and systems disclosed in my patent application which I believe will help resolve certain inaccuracies found in current Google Squared application.

I have issued legal notices to Google through my Patent Attorney in the US but Google has not responded yet to any of my notices.

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