Daily Archives: September 13, 2006

Are Google’s day’s numbered?

It’s time to reconsider Google | News.blog | CNET News.com

It really might be time for some people to reconsider Google – at least Google’s search and Google Maps. They are no longer so far ahead of the curve that it’s a no brainer to stick with them. The competition is picking up.

I’m not quite ready to switch myself, but if I lived in a region that was covered by online traffic updates, I’d probably go to Yahoo Maps. The functionality is so close to Google Maps that I don’t think I’d miss anything from Google, and they have a real-time traffic overlay that I really could have used today.
The article compares Ask.com and Google’s search results pages. In theory, I give Ask the edge, for the Widen & Narrow boxes down left of the page. That’s an excellent innovation. In practice, though, with the searches I used for testing I think I prefered Google’s results. Maybe if I was doing a different kind of search Ask might come up better, but I was just looking for online references to me. Google had more.

I haven’t tried anyone’s Desktop Search apps, but they do look good. I’ll check one of them out. A friend was just going on about how great they are the other day, so I’m already primed.

One thing that I haven’t seen anyone challenge Google on, though, is Google Earth. See my previous post for more on that. Very cool.

[tags]Google, Ask.com, Yahoo!, maps, search, competition, internet, desktop search[/tags]

Google Earth gets even cooler

Images: New visions from Google Earth | CNET News.com

This is really great! The already wildly cool Google Earth is getting additional information laid on top of it, so you can get information on selected locations from The Discovery Channel, US National Parks, a UN Environmental Agency, Jane Goodall’s institute, and more.

The new information will be available either as overlays (in the case of trails or ape roaming territories, for example) or clickable pop-up references, like a Discovery Channel video of the pyramids, blog entries from scientists, or side-by-side satellite photo comparisons of our changing environment over the years.

This is a big step, in my opinion. It’s taking the maps, roads, and pictures that you would expect and adding in a whole new wealth of information, really beginning to take advantage of the whole “Wisdom of Crowds” idea that is gaining in acceptance, but keeping the “crowd” limited to experts. I hope they continue to add new partners and really expand the type of information you get.

This is a huge thing for education, I would think. It makes looking for information on an area that much more exciting!

You can literally browse the Earth!

[tags]Google, Earth, maps, cool tools, education[/tags]