Searching for Specific Information

Someone once noted that using the Internet is like trying to drink from a firehose. There is so much information that it is easy to "get lost" while "surfing".

An ever increasing number of "search engines" are being developed which you can use to try and locate specific information. The best way to learn about these engines is to try them out! Each engine is designed to help you locate resources by entering "key words". It is a good investment of a few minutes to read the descriptive material which accompanies each engine.

Make sure that you understand the options. If you enter key words, does the engine search for any occurrence of these words or does it search for the exact string of words? Each engine has a strategy for "ranking" the links which meet the specifications you supplied. At best, some of these strategies seem obtuse or arcane at best!

On June 13, HotBot found 9,566 Internet documents which contained the words exploration AND geophysics. There were 287,294 documents with exploration OR geophysics and 1,439 documents with the exact phrase "exploration geophysics". Although the latter is smaller, who has the time to examine 1,439 documents?

Links to several search engines are listed below. Pick one and try and locate the information needed to answer the questions that follow. In fact, try a couple of these and see if they locate the same resources.

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An Internet Scavenger Hunt will give you the chance to experiment with locating Internet resources. It is easy to get lost but remember that you can use the Go menu to return to a familiar place or the Back arrow to return to the previous link.

Answer all of the following questions
  1. How many US colleges have the nickname "professors". [a good choice of key words would be college nicknames ]

  2. Who reported the discovery of element 110 - [you might try looking for a Periodic Table]

  3. What is the Curie Temperature measuring?

  4. The CIA keeps track of geographic information. What is the surface area of Peru? If there should be one exploration geophysicist per 200,000 square kilometers, how many doodlebuggers should be sent to there?