Blog Pile

Mooter-ing and Kartoo-ing: Graphical Displays of Search Results

Some interesting attempts at clustering or building maps of web search results (tip of the blog hat to EduResources). I cannot say I have found either of these more intuitive, but they are interesting.

Mooter is beta, but not bad. It sports a Google-like search engine (though there is no information or explanation what “mooter” is or does). A search result displays your query in the center of a map, with clusters of related terms around it, and clicking on the cluster essentially yields a Google-like list of results, though now a cluster is more refined than your original search.

For example I ran a query on “learning object” (It looks like you can copy/paste the URLs of search results, but this seems to fail due to a session variable) and you get this “map”

mcli web site (mac browser)
Mooter search results on “learning object”

Mooter has created clusters of additional searching times that might help me zero in on a more refined search- and offers 3 sets of clusters to choose from for this search. Who knows how it picks the clusters?? But a click on the “repositories” cluster yields:

mcli web site (mac browser)
Mooter search results on “learning object, showing cluster on “repositories”

You can jump to any other cluster from here as well.

The results may not be as comprehensive as Google, but I like the attempt at presenting search results in a different arrangement than just top to bottom.

Now Kartoo does something similar, but unlike Mooter’s spartan display, Kartoo’s results are all inside Flash, with a cute, but hardly necessary “genie”, and little icons for the results, plus relationships that pop up on mouseovers. Again, I ran the query on “learning object”, but the results seem to more general, most of the first screen picked up education providers like it was a query on just “learning” (maybe I needed quotes around the search terms?):

mcli web site (mac browser)
Kartoo search results on “learning object”

On this quick and completely unscientific comparison, I found Mooter a bit more usable and the results more web friendly. I cannot say I would run back and use them, but it is good to see some different ways to present information that can appeal to visual learners.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.