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Image Search Engines You Should Bookmark

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There are specific systems that enable you to search using image files. This article will introduce you to a few useful ways to do this.

OpenRailwayMap: Which Stations Are at the End of the World?

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The open OpenRailywayMap project provides a unique insight to existing rail networks around the world. Moreover, you can analyze exotic or risky areas and check the availability of the rail service there. The system also distinguishes lines that are operating, or not.

Railway details

The project is built on the OpenStreetMap and captures the state of rail networks around the world, including the ability to display data according to your chosen criteria. This can generate maps by: infrastructure (secondary/connecting lines, stations, milestones,…), track speeds (from local to high-speed lines), signaling.

The main and unique feature of OpenRailwayMap is the regular daily updates and cooperation of many individuals from all over the world.

Google Domain and Title #Searching: COVID-19 examples

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In a previous article dedicated to introducing google searches, we introduced “phrase” as an excellent tool for narrowing of the resulting set of documents. In this article, we will continue to learn how to use other advanced operators of this search engine. This time we will focus on searching in web document titles, document content, and specific domains.

If we should determine which parts of the document contain content-relevant search information, we can certainly define them as follows: document title, abstract, keywords. Google as a representative of the surface web engine will allow us the first of them.

intitle: operator

Just try to searchi with this operator:

"coronavirus pandemic" OR "covid-19 epidemics"

Of course, there is a great amount of this topics during this time, so we will narrow our query with intitle operators:

intitle:"coronavirus pandemic" OR intitle:"covid-19 epidemics"

site: operator

An because sometime we need information only from a specific institutions, we can just use the operator site and limit our result set to a specific domain.:

intitle:"coronavirus pandemic" OR intitle:"covid-19 epidemics" site:ec.europa.eu
intitle: a site:

Now Google result set containing only the records that are on the domain of European Comission.

intext: operator

By analyzing the documents, we have found that some pages containing up-to-date information about the response of EU, including future steps of member states. So if need to make our searches more precise, we add the condition intext. Let’s say that we need to find documents about forecasting the coronavirus pandemic on the EU level:

intitle:"coronavirus pandemic" OR intitle:"covid-19 epidemics" intext:forecasting site:ec.europa.eu
Advanced search operator intext

Conclusion:

  • Google operators are really helpful when narrowing our searches
  • intitle: searching in the titles of website and other documents
  • intext: must be in the text content of website and other documents
  • site: searching on a specific domain level.

3 Layers of the Web: Surface, Deep and Dark

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At the end of the 1980s, when Tim Berners Lee was working at CERN on the development of HyperText Markup Language — HTML (more on that another time), no one could have anticipated what a huge impact it would have. The first web page, which appeared at the beginning of the 1990s, started off a massive ‘informatisation’ of the world. So, what exactly is a web page? And why are some pages easy to find, while others definitely are not? 

Digital Maps: Use Them in Your Teaching

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Digital maps have become an indispensable part of our everyday life: Quickly calculate the route for the trip to the next business meeting, display the footpath to your destination in the public transport app or just look up where exactly is Ouagadougou.

More interesting for educational settings: Map providers also offer us the possibility to interact on the maps, for example by marking sights on existing maps or by adding whole map layers. Users can take the existing map and add more layers, on which places can be marked, lines drawn or areas drawn in. For the latter use case Google My Maps is probably the best known and most common tool but there is also a counterpart from the open source world: uMap, based on OpenStreetMap, which is better to use in educational settings.

Many didactic possibilities

Own cards offer many possibilities to create or support teaching and learning settings, especially (but not only) in remote teaching.

First, you can simply provide information for your students, e. g. you can create a map of certain places of interest and include information about that places in your map.

Second, and that is even more interesting for educational settings, you can edit maps collaboratively. The joint editing of map layers is very easy to realize and it offers you several possibilities to include the map into your teaching. Once you have created an own map, you can simple share the link to your map with your students and the work can begin.

Be creative

Use a digital map for a warm-up during your videoconferences for example: Share the link to your map and ask your participants to mark their places of birth. You will activate your participants, you´ll get to know something about them and you can use the resulting map for the introduction round.

There are no limits to creativity. Use the digital map for collaborative tasks, such as

  • Collecting information within an area (e. g. in a city, a park, a forest)
  • Creating historical maps (e. g. historical monuments, human movements, wars)
  • Creating environmental maps (e.g. endangered areas and drawing individual signs)
  • Create economic maps (e. g. trade routes, global trade, travel of individual products)
  • Create a map on infection rates (e. g. COVID-19)

Especially in global contexts, a common digital map is a powerful tool for visualizing learning outcomes, but also for reflecting on the learning process. Due to its general availability, location-bound working is not mandatory and all learners can work on one object at the same time. Teachers can also monitor progress and provide feedback on the map.

Google or OpenStreetMap (uMap)?

The decision for a provider certainly depends on the application. It corresponds to my personal attitude that OpenSource is preferable, but in this case there is an important detail that speak for the use of uMap: At Google a Google account is necessary for editing. A map is shared with other people in My Maps and can also be published. For the editing of a uMap no account is required. You share the link to your students and that is it. Mind the rights options when you create your map: Either you decide that all persons with the link to the map can edit it or you decide for a variant with two links: A link to view and a “secret” link to edit. Because no account is required, the service is much more accessible. Additionally, I can choose different background maps on uMap, all of which are also available on OpenStreetMap.

WayBackMachine Uncovers Our Digital Past

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Have you ever wondered what some aspects of organizations, institutions, or projects looked like 20 years ago? There are several tools and applications on the web that you can use to go into the past and see how web technologies, web design, but also the very first versions of some pages have evolved.

Probably the most famous tool is hidden within the largest internet archive (Archive.org), namely the WayBack Machine. Its uniqueness lies primarily in its global scope, recorded digital footprint, and then, of course, in the simplicity of its use.

In 2020, this service has been indexing over 420 billion websites, and as already mentioned, the use is very simple. Just insert the domain you want into the address bar, and the system will present you with all available captured versions of the page in history, including the timeline or the options for selecting a specific day from the history, if available.

For example, if you’d like to see one of Google’s predecessors, Altavista, enter the address of the www.altavista.com. You can then go on your way back to October 1996. Wasn’t that a wonderful time? Well, ok…

Of course, that we can use the WayBackMachine and see the first moments of Google. This could be really challenging for us to even see our own projects how did they look like. Or, just to remind ourselves what we were actually doing in a specific time. Nice. Maybe.

650m of Tweets per Day? Searching more efficiently on Twitter

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If you use Twitter as your communication channel, it would be interesting for you to test the following Twitter advanced search operators. They could be use in the standard search form of Twitter.

OperátorFunkcePříklad dotazu
“fráze“Phrase searching"informatio ninja"
ORBoolean operator OR (including either one term, or another, or together)(competitive OR market) intelligence
Boolean operator NOT (excluding elements from searches)"information ninja" -knight
#hashtagSearching for a specific #hashtag#informationninja
from:The list of tweets from a specific userfrom:in4mationninja
to:The list of tweets reaching a specific userto:google
@Tweets that mentioning a specific user or users@twitter
since:Searching only for tweet that have been published since a specific datedoaj since:2020-04-25
until:Searching only for tweet that were published until a specific datedoaj until:2020-01-01
filter:linksSearching for tweets with hyperlinksdatabase filter:links
?Searching for tweets that representing questionsthe moon ?
:), 🙁Emoticons can be also the part of your search quesrymetallica :)

Google Advanced Search Operators: Master Your Search Abilities

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When searching on Google, there is a better way how to handle with large amount of your results. Try to narrow your search with the following advanced search operators.

OperatorFunkceQuery example
“phrase”A basic method for narrowing your search. Use quotation marks for phrase searching. The result set must consist of the “phrase”."information ninja"
intitle:Search within the title fields (<title></title> in the HTML source code)intitle:"information ninja"
allintitle:All the words behind this operator will be searched in the title of the website and documentsallintitle:information ninja stream
intext:A condition. The keyword or phrase must be a part of the website or document content.intext:"competitive intelligence"
allintext:A condition. All the words behind this operator will be searched in the text of the website and documentsallintext:pokročilé
operátory Google
inurl:Search within URL addressesinurl:ethical-hacking
inanchor:Search within the hyperlink titles. inanchor:"open source intelligence"
site:Search within all the domain levels (1., 2., i 3. levels).site:seznam.cz
filetype:Search for specific files (e.g. PDF, DOC, XLS, PPT, etc.)"information overload" filetype:pdf
related:Find related pages related:www.google.com
Boolean operator NOT (excluding elements from searches)venus -planet
ORBoolean operator OR (including either one term, or another, or together)jupiter OR mars
(space)Boolean operator AND (both terms must be included in documents)jupiter mars

How Far is the South Pole from Your City? Just check WolframAlpha

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An interesting question for all professionals not only as an informational adventure. What will help to answer? WolframAlpha.

OpenCorporates offers over 180 million company records. For free.

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Businesses, enterprises, and the people associated with them are vitally important in our professional lives. Whether we create connections as entrepreneurs or business owners, become employees, or conduct analysis within a competitive environment, we always need to know who we are dealing with. Competitive intelligence database systems can help us with this.