Google “My Maps”

I saw this new tab earlier but just ignored it (who needs another “my” tool?), but then I read what it was all about on Lifehacker and had to share.

To add multiple layers of data points to your maps – like information about real estate prices, weather, earthquakes and movie showtimes – from the “My Maps” tab hit “Add content,” and watch all those third-party Google maps mashups get consolidated onto GMaps proper.

Very very very cool! This is a great example of how using user-generated content can add value to your tool (or possibly – you library catalog?).

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Google Buys Feedburner – it’s official

Boy – today I just keep finding confirmation of every buy out I’ve talked about in the last month. First it was Ebay and StumbleUpon now it’s Google and Feedburner.

FeedBurner, which has more than 400,000 publishers on its network, will beef up Google’s own AdSense publisher network, particularly among blogs, where FeedBurner is stronger than Google, said Susan Wojcicki, vice president of product management at Google, during a press conference.

Likewise, Google advertisers will benefit from an expanded ad inventory and ad distribution platform. Finally, FeedBurner shares Google’s philosophy of helping end-users find information online with FeedBurner focused on blogs and feeds and Google on search.

That sounds to me like a focus on advertising – not on finding information – we’ll see what happens.

Ebay Acquires StumbleUpon

I wrote last month that Ebay wanted StumbleUpon – well it has happened.

The $75 million cash acquisition gives eBay access to about 2.3 million people who have filled out profiles at StumbleUpon, founded in 2001 by three Canadian software engineers in Calgary. The venture capital-funded company, which recently relocated to San Francisco, is considered a pioneer of the so-called “Web 3.0″ niche.

Found via FindLaw while doing my Legal Bibliography final project.

Ask City!

I was listening to the most recent Library Geeks Podcast yesterday and wanted to share one thing that I learned (I learned a lot – but I want you to go and listen to what Gary Price has to say).

Ask City Screenshot

I learned about Ask City, a map search by This is not just another map app though! This is the coolest thing thing maps hit the web. What’s so cool? Well, using the tools below the map, you can draw a shape. Then you can search within that shape for the Businesses, Events, or Movies you’re interested in.

As some of you know, I’m looking for a new home. I’m looking in an area I know nothing about – so when the realtor sites ask me for a zip and to choose surrounding areas – I’m lost! If they had a tool like this I could draw a shape around the area I want to live and let them figure out the specifics. How cool would that be?

Well, for now I’ll stick to the old fashioned way and hope I end up in the right place! For now though, Ask has become my map app of choice (for everything else) on the web!!

One Search to Rule Them All

Sorry – I couldn’t resist :)

Apparently Google is planning on offering a Universal Search:

Universal Search means that standard Google searches will draw results from separate Google properties that target information about books, local information, images, news, and video, Mayer said.

“It’s breaking down the silos of information that have been built up. It’s a broad, long-term vision that will unfold over the next few years,” Mayer said. “We are really excited about what Universal Search could evolve to in the future.”

The combined search includes any site indexed by Google’s services, such as YouTube, Google Video and independent video sites like

Sounds pretty nifty – and a lot like what you hear at some library conferences – people want to find all results (books, articles, DVDs, CDs, etc – on our parts) in one place – all resources on one topic together on one page.

My hope is that while we can search everything – we’ll still have the option to search one at a time if we want – which I’m sure will be the case.

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Scary People Search

Via Sites & Soundbytes:

Pipl is a new search engine for people.  It is unique in that it isn’t an address or email search, but instead searches for the person throughout the Net.  Results will show quick facts, which for me are remarkably accurate, contact details which show my last three addresses, web pages, and links to places that the person has posted to.  If you are one of those people who likes to Google folks to know more about them, then you probably want to start using Pipl because it is far more comprehensive.

I did a little search – it’s a bit scary – but I guess that’s what I get for being so visible on the web.

Google Homepage Themes

I first read about this on Lifehacker. Google now lets you choose a theme for your Google homepage. The neat thing is that I picked the Tea House theme which has a skyline in the background. When I chose the theme, it asked me for where I lived so it could make the skyline match that of my home town. Pretty nifty :)

These are the kinds of things that really aren’t necessary, but adds that little bit of extra oomph to the experience.

[update]skyline = sky coloring to the time of day (bright or dark) [/update]

The future of

Mary Ellen Bates writes about Ask X (the future of

It has pretty much the same information as’s search results page, but it looks and feels much more functional.

I went over to poke and its new features are subtle, but neat. There is an add to my stuff icon on each result when you mouse over it, the results list looks cleaner, and there were other subtle difference. Take a look at it.