How do you search?

Are you getting the most out of your searching? Mashable points out a few things that librarians have been telling their information literacy students for years on how to find what you really want, using the search giant Google as its search platform of choice. Need to find that needle in a haystack? You’re on!

How to use Google search more effectively via Mashable

BL and Google

Google announced a couple of weeks ago that it was ceasing digitising newspapers, due somewhat to copyright issues.

However, it has not ceased digitising books.

The British Library and Google today announced a partnership to digitise 250,000 out-of-copyright books from the Library’s collections. Opening up access to one of the greatest collections of books in the world, this demonstrates the Library’s commitment, as stated in its 2020 Vision, to increase access to anyone who wants to do research.

Selected by the British Library and digitised by Google, both organisations will work in partnership over the coming years to deliver this content free through Google Books (http://books.google.co.uk) and the British Library’s website (www.bl.uk). Google will cover all digitisation costs.

This project will digitise a huge range of printed books, pamphlets and periodicals dated 1700 to 1870, the period that saw the French and Industrial Revolutions, The Battle of Trafalgar and the Crimean War, the invention of rail travel and of the telegraph, the beginning of UK income tax, and the end of slavery. It will include material in a variety of major European languages, and will focus on books that are not yet freely available in digital form online.

British Library press release

Google can be thought of as a supercharged, automated reference librarian for the web. Type in a few words in Google’s search box, and Google replies, in effect, “I don’t know the answer, but try these websites”. And it performs that service in fractions of a second, a billion times a day.

From the SMH

Nice article that talks about Google’s search algorithm. It is good to be reminded that Google is not just a search engine, but is using all its stored information and data to answer queries.

Google gets arty

One of the latest releases from those creative folks at Google, the Google Art Project combines some of Google’s well known technological favourites – high resolution digitisation and street view – for an interesting look at the insides of some of the major museums and galleries from around the world. The Google blog describes the project:

You’ll find a selection of super high-resolution images of famous works of art as well as more than a thousand other images, by more than 400 artists—all in one place. And with Street View technology, you can take a virtual tour inside 17 of the world’s most acclaimed art museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York, The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Tate Britain & The National Gallery in London, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

The super high resolution images of featured items is very impressive, and zooming is as easy as clicking on the plus button. Take a look behind the scenes to see how Google approached the digitisation and street view capture at the museums and galleries – the time lapse photography is fun to watch! To get the most out of your Google Art Project experience, check out the visitor’s guide below.

What did your 2010 look like?

Google has the answer, at least in the form of what people wanted to find out more about, in their annual year in review – the Google zeitgeist. The Google zeitgeist 2010 website has a few nifty gadgets you might want to have a play with that let you narrow down the most searched for results by region and includes a timeline which graphs by global event as well as a range of statistics (in comparison to last year).