May 18, 2007
According to techcrunch, Google will license technology to add 3D renderings in their maps (something better than what they already have).
Although Google is the market leader in mapping, to date it has lagged behind Microsoft’s Virtual Earth in terms of 3-D functionality.
The new technology will allow photo-realistic 3-D maps of cities creating the possibility that the 3-D data could be used as a basis to launch a virtual world, or licensed to existing online worlds such as Second Life.
The technology differs from the existing 3-D rendering in Google Earth; the licensed technology will allow Google to model 3-D cities using computer power alone and without the need for developer input.
An official announcement is expected at the Where 2.0 conference May 29-30.
You can see some of Microsoft’s product here.
Most sites tend to release their products in conjunction with related conferences and where 2.0 is always an interesting one for those that depend on locations (i.e. local search, maps, etc).
UPDATE: Brady provides us with more details over at O’Reilly Radar.
Local Matters (you may remember them as Aptas) just launched LocalGuides.com.
The idea behind it is that users create their own lists/guides. You’re basically creating lists and sharing them, a bit like YellowBot does it.
Their data provider is Axciom and they are powered by Superpages, who is trying to make their own YellowPages 2.0 site. I don’t know where Idearc’s link to the actual local search went…now they just have corporate pages there
May 17, 2007
You may have noticed that Google has changed the appearance of their site. They’ve moved their different search types to the top of the page rather than right above the text input:
Additionally, they will be using the “smart answers” a lot more where they supply you with different search results types for certain keywords (such as pictures, video, etc). They have dubbed this Universal Search…the idea being that you get all types of results in one search query. Here is an example of a darth vader search.
These changes are coinciding with Google Searchology, where a few industry insiders were invited to Google to view the new features.
A few other features include:
- A cross language search engine (coming soon) which will do some on the fly processing to match up your query in your language to web pages in other languages and show them when they are more relevant. The idea, according to Greg, is to “expand the value of the Google index and English language sites to non-English speakers.”
- Google Experimental which is a feature that exists within Google Labs. This will allow you to view various UI features they are testing (currently, they have timeline/map view, keyboard shortcuts, left hand search navigation, and right hand contextual search navigation). Hopefully, interested parties can check out all of the new features and UI changes from here in the future instead of asking a bunch of people…”hey, I think google is testing a new feature…do you see it too?” whenever they were A-B testing.
- Google’s Video Search will morph into a video meta search engine, currently only adding a few select sites into their index (like Metacafe).
May 15, 2007
I cam across this page that shows us that Google’s search results page can be cleared out by appending “&output=googleabout” to a URL. A nice, uncluttered results page which you can use as your homepage as an alternative to the standard Google results.
Compare this pizza results to the uncluttered pizza results…and, as you continue to search, the “&output=googleabout” parameters sticks with you.
However, there’s more to it. As I started playing around with it, I noticed some of their extra data in the search results go missing. For example, if you were to search for pizza in 91101, you won’t see the Google Local results at the top. A couple of other examples:
birth dates/biographies with googleabout parameter, birth dates/biographies with the parameter
weather without parameter, weather with parameter
Using the parameter is a nice way to avoid extra sponsored links but you may end up having to click around more since you miss out on some of these quick answers.