Wolfram Alpha is impressive. Very impressive


wolframalphaI’ve finally had some time and tested the recently launched and much hyped Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine. Make no mistake, this is not a classic search engine. The “computational knowledge engine” phrase really has meaning. If you’re expecting search results similar to those of Google’s then you’re in the wrong place.

But what Wolfram Apha does ? It searches in structured data and displays it in easily readable format, format that differs for different types of data. Be aware that it does not return results from other sites. It just returns answers to your questions formatting it so you can easily read it.

And with over 50000 algorithms and more then 10 trillion rows of data Wolfram Alpha can do a lots of things.

For example i searched for:

– a few place names (cities mainly) and it will return a nice little map with the location and other useful data:  paris , comandau

– some geographic stuff: Danube (river), last earthquake in japan (it returns the list with earthquake that you can fine tune), next eclipse in germany (returns the date and infos about the next solar eclipse visible in germany)

– some chemistry: ethane (returns: formula, representation and everything from boiling point to critical pressure)

– some mathematics: pentahedra (returns graphic representation, formulas and much more), volume of a sphere (returns formula for volume)

– some stock exchange information: google (returns stock evolution, prices and more)

– some names: john, maria (returns evolution of name, number of people estimated to be named with them and more)

My conclusion is that Wolfram Alpha is not a Google competitor as many claim it. In fact you can even find links to Google satellite images  in the information boxes for place names. This suggest that Wolfram Alpha doesn’t want to compete with Google and Google may appreciate this favor, returning it in some way.

Wolfram Alpha is a fact verifier and it will give you just raw facts, no opinions, no comments. In this way it may have and i believe it will have much more success then last years so called Google killer that just was forgotten (Cuil)

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