I know that there are a lot of people that would scoff at this idea, but when you think about it almost everyone’s position at the top is guaranteed only as long as someone doesn’t come up with something that does it better or more cheaply.

In regards to this post I am targeting Google’s position at being the number one search engine for providing information and it has nothing to do with it’s potential for earning people money. Let’s face it, the average person who uses Google, Yahoo or any other search engine, does so for the sole purpose of finding information. The problem with these types of engines is that you are presented with so much information that it can take you ages to find exactly what you are looking for.

I’ve come across a rather unique site called WolframAlpha that gives you exactly the information you are looking for. There is a knack though on how you phrase your search terms but the site provides you examples on how to go about it.

I took it for a little test drive and I was quite impressed. I typed ‘tallest building’  in Google and got 2,380,000 resutls, and then I used the exact same term in WolframAlpha and got the following table.



Result by height:

1 | Burj Dubai | 818 m |
2 | CN Tower | 553 m |
3 | Ostankino Tower | 540 m |
4 | Taipei 101 | 509 m |
5 | Shanghai World Financial Center | 492 m |


Result by floors:

1 | Burj Dubai | 162 |
2 | International Commerce Centre | 118 |
3 | Two World Trade Center | 110 |
4 | One World Trade Center | 110 |
5 | Sears Tower | 108 |

I then tried populous city: Google, 2,970,000 results. WolframAlpha;

Result by city population:

1 | Beijing,China | 14.93 million people |
2 | Shanghai,China | 14.61 million people |
3 | Bombay,Maharashtra,India | 12.69 million people |
4 | Karachi,Sind,Pakistan | 11.62 million people |
5 | Delhi,India | 10.93 million people |


Result by metro area population:

1 | Tokyo,Japan | 37.2 million people |
2 | Mexico City,Distrito Federal,Mexico | 22.97 million people |
3 | Seoul,Soul-t'vkpyolsi,South Korea | 22.25 million people |
4 | Bombay,Maharashtra,India | 20.87 million people |
5 | Sao Paulo,Brazil | 20.22 million people |
Cool huh.  While I was impressed I reckon it still has a long way to go because if you type something it doesn’t recognise you get presented with ‘Wolfram|Alpha isn’t sure what to do with your input’ whic can be quite annoying.
Still you can have quite a bit of fun with it as well as using it to provide you a lot of useful information. Try typing in your birth date, a maths equation or the name of a city or country and be amazed at how quickly the results appear. This site can be a real time saver.
I was wondering why the site had such an unusual name so I used ‘wolframalpha’ as a search term and this was the result.


Wolfram Alpha Released

Basic information:

date | 15/05/2009
cities involved | Champaign,Illinois,United States
countries involved | United States of America
people involved | Stephen Wolfram
There you go, and the fact that it is relatively new means that this site has some pretty big potential.


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