Saturday, January 09, 2010

Geeking Out with Google Labs

Geeking out in Google Labs this week and found a few cool apps I hadn't tried before.

Image Swirl is sort of a clustered visual search; certainly a more refined version of this sort of app will need to take front-and-center as we move further into the Semantic Web. Here's an example of an Image Swirl I used to take a class on a virtual tour of Rome. At this stage, Swirl produces far too many of the same results; that said, it was far easier to find good images on-the-fly than it is in Image Search. And the prediction? Whoever nails semantic image search rules the Internet in its next phase.

Next app was the experimental Social Search. While I like the idea, as a regular devotee of Twitter, there's actually very little here that I can't already get on Twitter in real-time. Prediction? Barring the sale of Twitter to Google, real-time social search won't be the G-folk's major foray.

Last up is Living Stories. Now this has a lot of promise. And not just as a tech gadget, but more importantly: as a fresh way of thinking about narrative online. A project of Google, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, this is the sort of thing that could redefine how we get our news. Check out the coverage on the US Health Care Debate and notice how the whole package works to tell a story. Especially useful for teaching current events, I also see Living Stories as a great template for teachings kids how history influences narrative and how narrative influences history. Prediction? The future of the Net is storytelling.

1 comment:

  1. Image swirl is great, thanks for drawin my attention to it. A great way of visualising search results to discuss the techniques of searching to my 8 yr old class.


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