Recall last week I made mention of the Google Co-op API and the new functionality that enables users (like me) to create their very own search engine. Since that time I’ve added some 1900+ of my favorite GIS resources (mostly data resources) which has resulted in a customized search tool that yields some awesome results if I say so myself! Many of the links come submitted directly to me for inclussion in vary sections at GISuser.com (ie. link section, free data resources, state clearinghouses etc…) Check it out and be sure to drop me a line if you don’t think your favorite data resource is listed yet See the GIS Data search Engine HERE
I just read an article about a new search engine called ChaCha. It offers up basic search apparently using the dmoz open directory results (I think). It also has a guided search where a real person holds your hand and helps with your search. Apparently these are staffers (paid inn the area of $5 hr) to help you locate what you need. I had ChristinaL helping me but I have to say I’m still on the fence. In a test for “california Digital raster graphics” I enter the string in an “IM-ish” dialogue box and wait for my helper to come up with some hits. Using their vanilla search the results I find are weak to say the least. My CA DRG search which should comme up with CASIL you would think, has the state of Californa as #1, the CA constitution as #2, and the CA Libertarian party as #3… I think I’ll stick with Google for now! Oh… I’m still waiting for my helper to get back to me with something useful… LOL – see www.chacha.com and try for yourself, it’s quite amusing… apparently they need guides too! Oh, now my guide tells me to wait while she finds something for me.. about 4 minutes later I’m still waiting. As I wait I go and check out their blog… to my amazement this commpany has recently been written up in countless magazines and was even featured on Good Morning America… Jesus man, for what??? Obviously they have a great PR team working for them. I have no idea why this would garner so much attention… reminds me of the dot.bomb days of the 90s! I decide to give the engine a second test this time looking for “symbian S60 freeware”… i wait about 2 minutes and my guide “LaShanna” finds a few results and the one I expected came up number 1 (from SymbianOne.com) … ok, kind of cool I guess but do people have time for this? Not sure, although the feelilng of having a real person with you is kind of interesting. I have to wonder how often they get propositioned though!