Drowned out by keywords

by Edd Dumbill

So here's a case for the semantic web. It's stupidly difficult to search for news of my hometown.

I live in the beautiful city of York, UK. In most search oriented applications I cannot search for my city. Why?

Because "New York" always matches a search for "York", too.
Google ameliorates this a little: you can search for "York UK" or "York -New". But most search facilities aren't as good, and quite a few of my local news sources would not consider "UK" a term they should include in their metadata.

So, while Google just about works OK, I get disappointed each time I try out a new toy and the search fails. I found this recently with the Flickr photo-sharing system. I was really looking forward to seeing my city through others' eyes, but it turns out if you type "new york" as a tag without the quotes, it adds the tag "new" and the tag "york". I had a similar disappointment with
the Feedster blog search.

Is your name John Smith? Ego surfing a problem? Confess all here.


2004-09-28 14:03:35
Probably a better Google solution than

York -New

would be

York -"New York"

The specific the exclusion, the better. Otherwise you won't get pages about the "new statue in York".

2004-09-29 08:43:14
York, UK
Trivial, dear Dr. Watson... :o)
Try this: +"York" -"New York" +"UK"

Hope it helps,