More often than not, I would like to see comparative results. For example, let’s say I want to find out and compare different operating systems in existence today. As per traditional way, I will have to go to wikipedia or some such site to search for each and every operating system, its features, system requirements, licensing type, company who developed it etc. and then I will have to collate this data into a matrix, let’s say an excel sheet, manually so that I can decide on which OS is best suited for my requirements. Similar is the case if you want to buy a new car or learn about tourist attractions in Florida, right? No more!
With Google Squared, you can just type in the term for which you want to find comparative results, say “Florida Tourist Attractions” and Squared will automatically build a matrix, called Square, with columns containing attributes like place name, description, address, type (whether it is zoo, roller coaster, park etc.), accepted payments and so on. Similarly, it will contain row for each of the different tourist attractions like Disneyland, Gatoland, Busch Gardens and so on.
If you are not satisfied with the columns already in display, you can just click in the Add Column box and it will show other relevant attributes like admission fees, business hours, cuisine served etc. You can just select the desired attribute and add it to the matrix. Sometimes it may happen that you don’t find the desired attribute, for example, you may want to know what the parking fee for a particular tourist place is. In such case, you can simply type in your own attribute – “parking fee” and google squared will bring the relevant results to the matrix. Since google builds the matrix by searching for attributes you specify across its results, you may have to experiment a little with the proper attribute name. For example parking fee might not give you accurate results always. In such cases, try re-phrasing attribute name, like “parking charges”, “parking $”, “free parking” or simply “parking”.
It may happen sometimes that Google may find more than one result for a particular attribute. In such cases, Google provides number of matches and let you decide which of the possible values you want to keep, providing you with confidence score (low, high) showing the relevance of each possible value. In case, Google doesn’t find any relevant result, you can simply type in the value you think is the most relevant, in the cell. The rows and columns in Square are completely customizable. You can add/delete a particular row or column depending on their importance to you.
Another great aspect of Google Squared is that you can save the square you created as well as share it with other people, provided you have a google account. Just click on the Share button and you will be provided with the dialog box to share the link using either email, facebook or twitter. You can also save it as a CSV file for offline storage.
This application is currently part of Google Labs which means it is still in beta stage, but the usefulness of this application is tremendous. You can use it to build matrix for hotels in particular city, electronic items, election candidates in your region, movies, rock bands, celebrities, wedding dresses, laptop brands, real estate and so on. Possibilities are limited by your imagination only. This is definitely powerful application worth checking and will save hours of tedious searches through web. What do you say?