Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Get Your Search On!

Over the weekend my good friend Gwyneth Jones tweeted about an interesting search engine called Heapr. I am all about search engines so of course I had give it a go.

Basically Heapr is a quad search engine. With one search you get results for 4 different searches all on one screen. While built using Google search you also get returned results from Wikipeda related searches, WolframAlpha search and Twitter instant results.

So I just did a basic search for "Super Bowl" since it was the most watched program in the history of television over the weekend.

On the left you get the Google results. Instant search is automatically turned on so as soon as you start typing the results pour in. On the left you have the live results from Twitter search, that as you watch, update automatically. So during a live or breaking news event, this stream would be constantly moving.

Here is the result from WolframAlpha

And the Wikipedia Results

Of course, if you look hard at all the results, there is some good and there is some not so good. But isn't that the case with all search results, no matter the engine. What I think is the benefit is having all four different types of results on one page, especially the live search results from Twitter, the data results from WolframAlpha and the related results from Wikipedia. I really do think this allows for more deeper information that students can use for researching topics.

But the basic search engine is not all that Heapr has to offer. Looking for images? Heapr Images will return Google Image and Flickr results side by side. (For me the only downside is not being able to sort by license.)

Looking for video? Head over to the Heapr Video page and and you can do simultaneous searches on Youtube, Vimeo and Hulu.

Pretty basic in terms of search. But pretty neat in terms of results. And the ability to search multiple sites in one click is a big time saver for me. So head over to Heapr and get your search on!
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