20 things you didn't know you could do with Search

3 months 1 week ago

Search has been helping you settle bets since 1998 (turns out there is some caffeine in decaf coffee), but now that we’re 20 years in, we’ve built dozens of other useful features and tools to help you get through your day. Let’s jump into some of these secret (and not-so-secret) tricks to up your Search game.

Search as your everyday sidekickHere are some of the ways you can plan your day and stay in the know with Search.

1. Fill your schedule with nearby events:With your phone, simply search for [events near me] or for a specific event type like [food festivals] and you’ll see listings for local activities from around the web. With a recent update, you can also browse events based on your interests. 
2. Movie showtimes and tickets:When you’re in the mood for a movie, Search brings together showtimes, theater locations, and ratings all in one place. It makes it easy to decide which movie and location work best for you (and then to buy your tickets in advance). 
3. Recipe Search:If you’re looking for a recipe in a pinch, just search on mobile for whatever you’re craving (say, chicken parmesan) and you’ll see a carousel of recipe suggestions.
4. Live sports scores:Search makes it easy to stay up on the latest scores, whether you’re a fervent fantasy sports aficionado or a casual fan. Type in the name of your favorite team or league (like the NFL), and get real-time scores and recaps from recent games.
5. Styling and shopping help from Google Images:When you're exploring style ideas or browsing for your next buy with Google Images, pictures of products that are available to purchase are marked with a "products" badge in the Google app and mobile web. Images marked “product” include price, reviews and availability, making it easier and faster to research and shop.

Helping you navigate important decisionsWhen you’re looking for information related to your career, education or health, we provide quick access to tools and reliable resources to help you make informed decisions.

6. Find your next job:Now available in more than 90 countries around the world, you can search for jobs right on Google. Try searching for [jobs near me] or [retail jobs] to explore jobs from across the web. You can also save jobs set up alerts, map your potential commute and click through to apply.
7. Discover the right college for you: Right on Search, you can find more information about four-year U.S. colleges, including information about admissions, cost and student life. You can dig into data around graduation rates and typical annual income 10 years after enrollment.
8. Help with health questions:When searching for common health conditions, like influenza or a sprained ankle, you’ll find relevant medical facts in a knowledge panel. We’ll show you typical symptoms, treatments and other details—like how common the condition is, whether it’s critical or contagious, ages of people affected and more—all from reliable sources and vetted by doctors. If you search for clinical depression on your mobile device, we’ll also provide easy access to a clinically validated private screening test, the results of which can be helpful in conversations with your own care provider.

Time-saving toolsWhen you need a quick answer to help you with daily tasks, we provide tools right in Search to help you on your way:

9. Figure out who owes what:You can use Google to calculate your tip when you’re in a restaurant. Simply search for [tip calculator], enter the cost of your meal, and the percentage you want to tip. You can even ask Google to help you split the bill evenly with your friends.
10. Convert cash:If you’re heading out on a trip, here’s a tool that makes a ton of cents: you can get real-time currency conversions right on Google. Search for something like [$500 in Euros] and you’ll get a box with the current exchange rate and an interactive graph to let you explore the change over time.
11. Track packages:You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package.
12. Quick access to appointments, flights and more:If you don’t want to toggle through your tabs, Search can help you find information about your upcoming plans. If you’re logged into your Google account, searching for “my trips” or “my appointments” will show you (and only you!) relevant results about upcoming flights, hotel reservations and your schedule from Gmail and Google Calendar.
13. Get the numbers about your noms:You can search for nutritional information and find out the number of calories in your everyday foods. For example, you can ask “how much fat is there in chocolate cake?” or “how much sugar is there in tomato sauce?” and Google will break down the nutritional stats for you.
14. Definitions and synonyms:You can use Google as a dictionary and thesaurus. Try searching for [what does loquacious mean] and you might find yourself talking nonstop about this feature. 

For the savvy searchersWhen you’re asking a complicated question or hoping to dig deep on a topic, Search can be your co-researcher.

15. Ask complex multi-part questions:You can ask Google “compositional queries” that require us to solve the first piece of the question before addressing the second part. For example, if you search [when were the members of NSYNC born], you will (feel old and) see the birthdates of Justin, JC, Chris, Lance and Joey.
16. Search with an image:On your computer, upload your own photo to Google Images to find the same or similar photos on the web. Click on the camera icon in Google Images and Google will also tell you the origin and other details about the photo. Now you can know where that meme really came from.
17. Check how to say massive numbers correctly:Type in any long number and add “=english” to the end of your search and you’ll find the correct way to spell out the number in words. Try it for 6006131520 (hint: it’s not “Google is 20”).
18. Search within a time period:You can narrow your search to a specific date range and see only content published during that time. This can be useful if you’re looking for insight into how a news topic may have been covered at a certain point in time or looking for resources for a history paper, perhaps.
19. Search within a site:If you’re looking for an article or page from a specific publisher, Search will let you focus your results on that single website. Just add “site:” ahead of the web URL to limit your results to that publisher, and you can then sort by recency or add additional keywords to narrow down your search.
20. Advanced Search:If all of these tricks still don’t get you what you need, you can use Advanced Search to apply a number of filters, like specifying terms you want to exclude or only find pages that are in certain languages, regions, sites or file formats.

But right now, I’m not feeling that advanced—so will go back to searching for cake recipes for Google’s birthday.

The Servant Leader and the Illusion of Corporate Empowerment

3 months 1 week ago

Last week, I answered a reader question about what scrum masters are worth, financially speaking.  This gave rise to another reader question that I’ll tackle this week, and it has to do with the idea of the so-called servant leader. Now, I usually follow sort of a FIFO approach for reader questions.  But I’m making […]

The post The Servant Leader and the Illusion of Corporate Empowerment appeared first on DaedTech.

Erik Dietrich

DaedTech Digest: Picking Your Next Temporary Home

3 months 1 week ago

At one point of the week, I forgot what day it was.  Probably due to the US holiday last week.  But fear not.  I’ve recovered my equilibrium in time for yet another digest Friday. Moving on from last week’s discussion of how we started slow traveling, let’s talk about perhaps the next logical subject. How […]

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Erik Dietrich

Making it easier to discover datasets

3 months 1 week ago

In today's world, scientists in many disciplines and a growing number of journalists live and breathe data. There are many thousands of data repositories on the web, providing access to millions of datasets; and local and national governments around the world publish their data as well. To enable easy access to this data, we launched Dataset Search, so that scientists, data journalists, data geeks, or anyone else can find the data required for their work and their stories, or simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.

Similar to how Google Scholar works, Dataset Search lets you find datasets wherever they’re hosted, whether it’s a publisher's site, a digital library, or an author's personal web page. To create Dataset search, we developed guidelines for dataset providers to describe their data in a way that Google (and other search engines) can better understand the content of their pages. These guidelines include  salient information about datasets: who created the dataset, when it was published, how the data was collected, what the terms are for using the data, etc. We then collect and link this information, analyze where different versions of the same dataset might be, and find publications that may be describing or discussing the dataset. Our approach is based on an open standard for describing this information (schema.org) and anybody who publishes data can describe their dataset this way. We encourage dataset providers, large and small, to adopt this common standard so that all datasets are part of this robust ecosystem.

In this new release, you can find references to most datasets in environmental and social sciences, as well as data from other disciplines including government data and data provided by news organizations, such as ProPublica. As more data repositories use the schema.org standard to describe their datasets, the variety and coverage of datasets that users will find in Dataset Search, will continue to grow.

Dataset Search works in multiple languages with support for additional languages coming soon. Simply enter what you are looking for and we will help guide you to the published dataset on the repository provider’s site.

For example, if you wanted to analyze daily weather records, you might try this query in Dataset Search:

You’ll see data from NASA and NOAA, as well as from academic repositories such as Harvard's Dataverse and Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Ed Kearns, Chief Data Officer at NOAA, is a strong supporter of this project and helped NOAA make many of their datasets searchable in this tool. “This type of search has long been the dream for many researchers in the open data and science communities” he said. “And for NOAA, whose mission includes the sharing of our data with others, this tool is key to making our data more accessible to an even wider community of users.”

This launch is one of a series of initiatives to bring datasets more prominently into our products. We recently made it easier to discover tabular data in Search, which uses this same metadata along with the linked tabular data to provide answers to queries directly in search results. While that initiative focused more on news organizations and data journalists, Dataset search can be useful to a much broader audience, whether you're looking for scientific data, government data, or data provided by news organizations.

A search tool like this one is only as good as the metadata that data publishers are willing to provide. We hope to see many of you use the open standards to describe your data, enabling our users to find the data that they are looking for. If you publish data and don't see it in the results, visit our instructions on our developers site which also includes a link to ask questions and provide feedback.

Should Scrum Masters Make More than Software Developers?

3 months 2 weeks ago

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a reader question.  Let’s fix that today by examining a question that is simple in the asking and complex in the answering.  Should scrum masters make as much or more money than software developers? The actual question was a little more nuanced, and it came from the […]

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Erik Dietrich

DaedTech Digest: How Did You Start with Slow Travel?

3 months 2 weeks ago

Happy Friday, everyone.  And time for yet another DaedTech digest.  Last week, I talked about what it’s like to settle into a home as a slow traveler.  This week, on the other hand, I’m going slightly more existential.  At least, from my personal perspective. I’m going to talk about what gave me this idea and […]

The post DaedTech Digest: How Did You Start with Slow Travel? appeared first on DaedTech.

Erik Dietrich

U.S. wildlife to see (and maybe avoid) on your end-of-summer adventures

3 months 2 weeks ago

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System, which oversees more than 50,000 miles of trails across the U.S., and makes sure historic sites like the Pacific Crest Trail are around for years to come.

One of the most magical parts of traipsing around the wilderness is the chance to see local fauna: catching a glimpse of a hawk circling a field, floating by a beaver dam on your kayak, or spotting a baby deer in your hometown park.

You can use Google Images to learn more about the wildlife you encounter while hiking: to find out if what you just saw was *really* a coyote, or if that spider whose web you demolished is as scary as it looks. Over the past year, Google image searches for animals have approximately doubled.

We took a look at Google Images trends to find some of the most uniquely searched animals (and bugs!) in each U.S. state. Take a look to find out where you should travel to spy an orca whale, and where to *avoid* if you never want to see a leopard shark in real life.

For those of you planning last-minute nature exploration this summer, we’ve also identified some of the top spots in the U.S. to get your eyes on some wild creatures.

Animal aficionados won’t be surprised that more people are searching for Orcas in Washington, or gila monsters in Arizona. But porcupines in Nebraska, or wolverines in Minnesota? Perhaps not as obvious.

If bugs are your bag, image searches indicate you’re likely to see a butterfly in Hawaii, or black widows (eep) in Colorado. If you’re visiting Iowa, keep your eyes peeled for the elegant, yet still sort of creepy, praying mantis. Check out the complete lists of uniquely searched animals and bugs in each U.S. state.

So where can you go to explore the great outdoors, and maybe catch a glimpse of lions, tigers and bears (oh my)? The top ten trending hikes on Google Maps include the world-famous Appalachian trail, the longest hiking-only trail in America, and the scenic Monument Valley desert, known for its epic rock buttes, plus several other trails across the country.

If you’re willing to spend the night in nature, the top ten trending campgrounds include Mackinaw Mill Creek in Michigan, which lets you set up camp on the shores of one of the Great Lakes. South Carlsbad State Beach in Southern California is set on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a short distance from water sports, and maybe some sea life. Just keep an eye out for leopard sharks ;).

Pro tip: Wondering what type of wildflowers you’re seeing on the trail, or if that green bush you hiked through was poison oak? Use Google Lens to help you identify local plant life (or wildlife, if you can catch it standing still … ). Just open the Lens app, point your camera at the plant and Lens will help you identify what you’re looking at.

Now that you're fully informed on how Google can help you learn more about the wildlife around you, get out there and see it for yourself!