Searchcube

We seem to be getting new visual search engines all the time. I have had other posts about visual search engines, SearchMe and Viewzi being my favourites, but after seeing a tweet about this new one I thought I would have a look. SearchCube searches for the world wide web for information in websites, images and videos.

I entered my search terms and the results were shown as a 3D style cube and in a very visual and compact way. I searched for  Australian immigrants, volcanoes, Dali and cuneiform.

 

As always it is useful to display visually the sites that Searchcube found. Students can evaluate whether or not a site might be of use to them based on  the text and and images displayed before they go to the site. The Searchcube images were smaller than those found and shown by the other search engines above, but a larger image appears at the side when you hold the cursor over one of the images. At this time you are also given the type of result, eg website, image or video, and the web address and any brief description available.  

Once the search results appear you navigate around the cube by using the arrow keys, the shift key and the mouse. It is easy to use, without anyone really needing the simple searching guide.

This graphical format however does not load up quickly and where would I be likely to use it? It would be interesting to do an analysis of how the images were arranged or to do a comparison with the first page of results for a google search on the same topic. I cannot see in-depth research being done using this search engine, especially as there are no advanced searching options, but perhaps on a different level, looking at symbolism in art or religion. I will probably stick to Searchme and Viewzi, when showing the students some visual search engines, but it might be fun to show them this and then have some discussion about research and information and visual literacies.

For me it was fun to have a look at and it is visually striking (the WOW factor) but not for long term use. The tool also requires the use of Flash, although many browsers have this.

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