Kartoo, a New Search Engine.
May 22, 2002 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Kartoo, a New Search Engine. Do check out Kartoo. It basically creates a map linking sites related to a search. Interesting graphics, too. It seems like this would serve a different purpose than Google.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy (14 comments total)
That's pretty interesting but I don't see the connection with some of the links that come up. Is the problem that they are not showing the underlying pages that actually connect to your URL (they just show the main URL)?
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:21 AM on May 22, 2002

Very interesting. It seems to work well, but the lack of explanatory language makes it a bit confusing. I kinda like it, though.

Also confusing: why does the genie-type guy have a pair of cherries hanging from his ear?
posted by me3dia at 9:30 AM on May 22, 2002

posted by sawks at 9:42 AM on May 22, 2002

A new way of looking at searches indeed. I ran some searches I had done previously (checking my beloved Google toolbar) and found it would have found the same sites.

It looks good for tracking down tough keyword searches. For example, it you are looking for a metal detector that you would use to hunt for treasure with, and you Googled 'metal detector', you would mainly get links about airport security metal detectors. Kartoo shows various paths you can take to get the type of detector you need.
posted by Argyle at 9:45 AM on May 22, 2002

Interesting idea. When I searched my site title as a contiguous phrase it took 3 or 4 page loads for it to cough up sites that other engines do on the first page, and it coughed up a buncha stuff that has no relation to my site whatsoever. But I suppose they're still working out the kinks. Kinda reminds me of that Visual Thesaurus from a few years back, although that seemed to give more accurate results, but then again they're database is more static.
posted by jonmc at 9:53 AM on May 22, 2002

Not a really good algorhythm; I did the obligatory self-scan, and found the stuff published on my company's site, and one of my Valentine's Day articles reprinted in Hispanic Online... but the H.O. article was linked off of a racing pigeons site mentioning one of my distant Maryland cousins. And somehow, it linked me to my cousins page using the words 'Charlotte' and 'Hall' - Hall maybe because of my HALLoween site, and one of his pigeons made it into 'the HALL of fame of old birds'...and Charlotte because of a mention of 'Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte' I made in a movie review, and he entered a race in Charlotte SC. One of the reviews of my work is linked inexplicably from the Michigan Petroleum Association and Michigan Association of Convenience Stores website.

Its an incredibly schizophrenic web they weave.

Its a great idea, and in some of my passthroughs I found that the idea of diameter marking relevance extremely accurate. But not often. If they could get this thing to be more accurate, it would really be nice...
posted by Perigee at 9:59 AM on May 22, 2002

Something that could visually show how pages are linked together would be a useful (or at least interesting) tool to have. I'm not sure this is it. It might become it, but I have to agree with others that said it's confusing and a bit random.

I did like how the size of their nodal points indicated the size of the site. That is information that it's nice to have at a glance.

It would also be nice to see how sites link into and out of each other. That may be present in this, but if it is, I didn't understand the interface cues that would indicate that.

I also thought the home page loaded a bit too slowly. I like that people are trying to expand flash to do interesting web applications like this, but I we need some pioneers who are willing to drop all the useless "flash" of flash, for lack of a better word, and focus on just using the elements that really add value.
posted by willnot at 10:19 AM on May 22, 2002

One other thing I noticed. In the options, you can specify the search engines to use which can certainly impact that maps that get created.
posted by willnot at 10:26 AM on May 22, 2002

Perigee, my hometown of Charlotte is in NC. Charlotte is at no point closer than 500 feet to that den of red-neckery, SC. BIG difference. Sheesh.
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:28 AM on May 22, 2002

I had thought the size of the node was its relevance. Hell, this thing helped me find audio visualization development software that has been troublesome to find in google. I like it, but it requires a good deal of massaging to get deep enough.
posted by mblandi at 10:30 AM on May 22, 2002

mblandi - you are probably right. The size of the nodal points does seem to change as I change keywords in the search.

I was just assuming that they were getting traffic information from Alexa or something like that to determine size.
posted by willnot at 10:46 AM on May 22, 2002

this is really cool, thanks for the link
posted by jonah at 11:04 AM on May 22, 2002

I think searching through this tool will be a learned skill.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:16 AM on May 22, 2002

the tool isn't flawless, but it is beautiful and a brilliant step toward the next generation of search. the extensve incorporation of visual elements is a huge deal, because it allows the user to sort of parallel process the search results, by looking at everything at once.

the size of each node suggests its relevance. hover over any node, and all additional terms suggested bykartoo that have also been found will eb highlighted. and hovering over any term on the map highlights all sites in the results that included that term. this kind of visual interface conveys much more complex information and options than plain old serial text (lists of links, lists of terms, percentages, etc) could ever hope to do.

and its meta-intincts are pretty good. i searched for my domain name, and the first three additional terms it suggested were my first name, "weblog", and the urls of my friends. impressive.

still a bit confusing, but cool. thanks.
posted by sixfoot6 at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2002

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