Friday, something new was unveiled. I don’t think it’ll be competition for the major search engines, but it definitely is cool. It’s called Wolfram|Alpha.
It’s not really a search engine. There are definitely quite a few neat things that you can do with it, though. I did a few quick examples. First, I did a search of a date. I chose September 11th, 2001, as it is a date known by almost everyone worldwide. Now, I’m shown data about how long ago that was, notable events, sunrise and sunset times, and how long there was daylight on that day.
Let’s try a different search. One of the examples shown was to do a search for the International Space Station. You can get sky position and orbital data about the ISS. So far, this is looking really cool!
It seems that Wolfram|Alpha is great when it comes to data that has statistics, numbers, or other kinds of numeric measurements. But this isn’t what I’ve been playing with the most.
One thing that I had to try was some mathematical computation. I initially tried it with a simple quadratic equation. I then moved on to something a bit more complex. Being the geek that I am, I thought back to my Calculus days and had to try a little integration and differentiation, too. Oh, and limits. You can’t forget limits.
I must say… I am impressed. I just wish I had had this to play with when I was still in my various Calculus courses. Actually, I would’ve enjoyed using this with my engineering courses, as well. There is so much to play with!
If you would like to try Wolfram|Alpha, why not check their list of examples? There will definitely be something there that you can play with.