Human Friendly Driving Directions From Google?

Google Human Friendly Driving Directions

I need landmarks when I get driving directions. I get lost without them.

The last time I took a long trip by car, I used a couple of different online mapping programs to get me to where I was going. Or at least most of the way there. The directions worked fine the first 320 miles until I had less than a couple of miles to go.

Then I drove around for 40 minutes, in the middle of Massachusetts, trying to find a hotel that I had made reservations at.

I wish that there was something better. Something that was human friendly.

Yep, I didn’t ask someone for directions. I should have. A couple of good landmarks would have really helped.

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Yahoo Acquisitions since Overture

Yahoo! has a history of looking for, and acquiring companies and their technology and hiring employees from those businesses. I focused upon the most recent companies with this post, and will followup sometime in the near future with the rest that I can uncover. Here are a number of the Yahoo acquisitions since October 2003:

3721 Network Software Co.

3721 Network Software Co. (November 2003) 3721 NSC is a Hong Kong based language keyword search engines and real name address system. This company owned the Chinese company, Beijing 3721 Technology Co. Ltd (aka 3721). There’s a nice illustration on the Beijing page on how their real names translation (Chinese keywords are typed in the browser address bar instead of a URL) from English to Chinese works.

I’m not certain if the Beijing branch was sold to Yahoo! in the purchase. I’ve seen a couple of conflicting reports on that part of the acquisition.


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Can Google Read Your Mind? Processing Predictive Queries

A new patent application published this morning doesn’t involve ESP, but it does attempt to anticipate what searchers are looking for. The document has the names of some prominent Google employees on it.

Anticipated query generation and processing in a search engine
United States Patent Application 20050283468
Published: December 22, 2005
Filed: June 22, 2004

The focus of this document is on returning search results quicker, and enabling personalization to make those results more relevant for the person searching.

In my recent Google Acquisition post, one of the companies I mentioned, Kaltix, specialized in personalization and speeding up search results. I also linked to a patent application there, assigned to Kaltix, which covered those types of issues.

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Google TextRank and Book Search?

What is Google TextRank?

One of the challenges of the Google Book Search project has been to find a way to index all of the books included within the project.

We don’t know the details of the technology used to index those books. A little research uncovers some interesting information.

A post at Search Science this November involved the award of a grant of $107,112 by Google to Rada Mihalcea. Xan Porter noted there that Professor Mihalcea’s research involving “automatic extraction methods to retrieve significant information in books stored in electronic format” is what likely interested Google in getting her help for Google Print, or Google Book Search, as it is known now.

As a co-inventor of the Google TextRank Patent, she seems to have been the ideal candidate for Bringing Order into Texts.

It’s impossible to tell whether or not Google textrank is what is being used to index those books.

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Early Google Acquisitions

With all of the recent acquisitions by Yahoo! and Google, I decided to take a closer look at some Google Acquisitions. I’m glad I did. I came across a couple of papers I hadn’t seen before and learned a little more about some of Google’s employees that I didn’t know.

Many of the Google acquisitions we have seen appear to be influenced by Google attempting to acquire technology, and some Google acquisitions appear to have been made as a way to hire the employees of companies acquired. I’ve tried to indicate what kinds of technology Google acquired in these transactions. I didn’t include the financial details of these purchases either. I was mostly interested in the technology that was brought through these Google acquisitions.

2007 Google Acquisitions

Grand Central Communications
Zenter, Inc.
Peakstream Inc.
Green Border Technologies
Marratech AB’s Video Conferencing Software
Tonic Systems
Gapminder’s Trendalyzer Software
Adscape Media

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Honored and Surprised: SEO by the Sea was nominated for search blogs awards

Search Engine Journal is holding a vote for Search Engine Journal’s 2005 Search Blogs Awards.

I nominated a number of sites last night, but found it difficult because there are so many excellent search engine blogs. If you look at the blogroll to the right, you’ll see what I mean. I visit as many of those sites as I can via RSS, and another twenty or more that I haven’t added to the blog roll yet.

I have to confess that I was surprised this morning to see an email from Loren from Search Engine Journal telling me that this site had been nominated.

I would like to thank whomever nominated SEO by the Sea. It’s an honor to be included along with these others nominated as Best SEO Blog:

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