A Google Toy a Day: Google Sets
This is another Google feature I discovered while reading Googlepedia by Michael Miller. Google Sets, currently a test feature from Google labs – although by no means a new feature, allows you to ‘create sets of items from a few examples’, providing a list of results which then link to the Google search results for that particular term.
I thought I’d give it a go using some geographical locations featured in this blog, to test what kind of criteria the application might use to create a set. My entry
Henlade – Berkeley – Rockridge – Bristol – Iruña-Veleia
Bristol – Berkeley – Bath – Bellingham – Boston – Barcelona – Bremen – Berlin
so Google Sets has given me a list of cities beginning with B (like two on my list) in the United Kingdom, United States, Spain (like the locations on my list) and, slightly more perplexingly, Germany.
I tried again with some species of mollusc mentioned in posts here, but Google Sets didn’t return any results with a list of the taxa mentioned in yesterday’s post. Entering fewer, more general, terms helped. Snail – Oyster gave me a fairly sensible general list of molluscs: Snail – Oyster – Scallop – Clam – Mussel – Abalone – Squid – Octopus.
The internet provided a better source of inspiration. Entering three social networking sites – Facebook – Kontain – MySpace – gave a long list of other social networking sites.
A (non-archaeological) use of Google Sets might be to find alternative brands. Say for example, I know that Smeg and Bosch both make kitchen appliances, and I want to look at the websites of other manufacturers. Well, Google Sets lists several, such as Miele, Indesit, Whirlpool, Siemens…
Sadly entering WHS and Marshalltown doesn’t give me a list of trowel manufacturers… although it does throw up some tool makers (as well as Milwaukee and Iowa).
I’m not convinced that Google Sets is something I will be returning to for better productivity, but for fairly broad topics it might be helpful to generate alternatives I may otherwise have overlooked.
It is also quite fun to play with. I tried some archaeologists:
Barry Cunliffe – Colin Renfrew
which gave the list
Barry Cunliffe – Colin Renfrew – Julian Richards – Sir Andrew Ramsay – Derek Roe – David Clarke – Howard Carter – O.G.S. Crawford – Emmanuel de Rougé – Marija Gimbutas – James Mallory – Ernst Pulgram – Alexander Cunningham – John Collis – Grahame Clarke
Please do comment if you can suggest a use for Google Sets.