The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, November 18, 2002

SEARCH ENGINE O' THE FUTURE!
your wish is my command-shift-space
If your brain tends to think in visual terms--like organizing facts and notes in a graph-like structure, versus in a top-down list of priorities--then you should loooooooove this. Kartoo is a new-fangled search engine that heavily uses a graphical interface to display its search results. Instead of generating a list of likely links, it shows a bubble-chart of results, represented by circles of different sizes depending on relevance.

I haven't used it for anything I'm seriously researching, and I'm not sure I'd turn to it right away. But it sure is fun to play with. The whole thing runs on Flash, but is surprisingly quick-loading. That little sprite above is, I guess, Kartoo the Magician, the site's mascot.

I can't track it down now, but I recently read an article on the emergence of a few search utilities and sites with this kind of design. The concept could very well be the wave of the future. I guess that means all of us who've gotten used to the Yahoos and Hotbots for their web research will eventually have to shift gears.