Google Squared – Structured Data Without The Human Touch

In another attempt to meet Wolfram Alpha head-on, Google has ushered in another “search” option: Google Squared. Squared collects unstructured data and automatically imposes a structure on it. Search results are pulled from various open sources and are organized in a spreadsheet-type format. Hovering over the cells will reveal the source.

A primary difference between Alpha and Squared is the lack of human oversight in the latter option: squares are automatically generated without human “curatorship.” Another weakness appears to be an overweening reliance on Wikipedia, with all its foibles and faults.

However, for a quick, chart-like presentation of data on a particular topic, Squared offers a nice alternative. Check out this “square” for smartphones (took about 15 seconds to generate) here. The smartphone square automatically created columns for image, description, weight, size and memory. Note that not all cells are complete – ostensibly because Squared couldn’t locate the unstructured data. I also note that generalized categories can yield results that may be too broad and require some tailoring. Familiar territory, for sure, when it comes to searching on any engine.

You can save your squares under your Google log in. You also can manually add items to Squares – good for comparison purposes.

Welcome to Google Squared, another tool to consider for inclusion in your search tool box (or bar)!

Hat tip to Resource Shelf.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]