But MS has bigger plans. SenseWeb is MS’s project to provide real-time maps that integrate localized data like gas prices, traffic reports, and even average wait time for restaurants. MIT’s TechReview notes that while other research projects—at Berkeley, MIT, Stanford—also aim at including variable data into maps (irregularly updated), SenseWeb alone is attempting to create up-to-the-minute updated results specific to a user-defined area. The technology requires a feed of incoming data from individuals and auto-detecting equipment (currently underserved):
One challenge for the SenseWeb project will be making the different types of information pulled into its database consistent enough to analyze and sort, says Samuel Madden, professor of computer science at MIT. For instance, there would need to be standard units for temperatures. “As soon as you start integrating all this data, you can imagine that weird things will happen,” he says. “It’s really a challenge to build tools that work with generic data and to come up with a way that anyone can publish their information.”
Microsoft has gone so far as to add favorite celebrity sites to its maps. CelebFavorites signed Alex Rodriguez, for example. All this localized personal search in maps leads Geeking with Greg to fancy Search without Searching.
Drum-roll on G-Health…
Drawing closer to the expected release of Google Health on Wednesday, some fodder for the excitement:
Screen shots of targeted health screen results generated by Nico; SEW wonders aloud if this preview is G-health or if we should expect more; Blogscoped notes a minor error; Garrett Rodgers thinks this test site is more-or-less G-health and voices some cautious disappointment:
Basically, Google Health is what I expected — an enhanced way to search for health related material. Lots of people were hoping for a more feature-rich product (including myself) but that’s not usually how Google operates. They like to see and hear what people want before they spend time developing what they think people want — this is how they get things done so quickly.
MS Ads Imbedded in Video and Mobile
Via Internet News:
Ads delivered by Microsoft’s newest acquisition, Massive Inc., will soon start appearing within games played with Xbox LiveR, MSN Games and other Microsoft online services. Integrating two areas receiving greater attention from the software giant, Microsoft’s purchase of New York-based Massive links its new AdCenter with its successful Xbox LiveR subscription service.
Targeting Censored Keywords
Can it be done in Google? ICE (Internet Censorship Explorer) tested the possibilities, successfully placing an ad in Google.cn for Human Rights Watch on the search term “human rights china” that even when the HRW site itself was censored. Says Blogscoped: Bug or feature? I think it’s a feature!
Inside Google Book Search Blog
On Monday, Google launched a new blog for book search. What to expect, from the blog: our team sharing thoughts, tips and the occasional announcement about Book Search. We intend for this to be a place not only for Book Search enthusiasts, but also book lovers of every stripe. We’ll be highlighting cool books we’ve found, discoveries you’ve made, big thoughts about the future of book search and more.
MS Buys DeepMatrix
Yahoo is unveiling its new AdCenter, and Microsoft is already on the chase, purchasing DeepMatrix:
The purchase is to enable Microsoft to “deliver new Web analytics applications in future releases of Microsoft adCenter.” Last year Google acquired Urchin, and then renamed it to Google Analytics in November and began AdWords integration soon after. Microsoft will possibly do the same.
Google Founders Investing in Brazilian BioEthanol
Via New Google Blog: This May, according to ‘Cidade Biz’, Page and Brin will open a new office in São Paulo aiming to investing in Bioethanol processing plants. Last year, they made a similar investment in the North American company Nanosolar, wich develops and produces thin solar panels.