Monday, October 06, 2008


This is an experimental post in which I'm embedding a searchCrystal widget. Thanks to MaryH for pointing it out, and providing a concrete example of its use.

I discovered this interesting visualization tool on the IES Book and Literature Circle Blog, in The Little Prince Literature Circles Week Two post (2008.05.28), through a Learning with Computers network connection in a Shelfari Group: Book, Short Stories Suggestions for the Classrooms and Activities (2008.09.04).

According to the page where I got the widget embedding code for this post (seachCrystal: Widgets), "The searchCrystal Widget visualizes the overlap between the result sets of five major search engines," for example, images on Ask, Flickr, Google, MSN, and Yahoo! (searchCrystal: Home). In order to fit the current template for this blog, I reduced the size of the display (below) from a default 600 pixels square to 400 pixels.


  1. Search crystal does provide a good chance for images and other search results to be visualized. What do you think of it now that you've tried it? I was interested in showing some Flickr photos about The Little Prince, and it worked well! It seems that there some search engines and tools are making the results more visual.

  2. Hi, Mary, thanks for dropping by and asking.

    In fact, this potpourri experiment is the only use of SearchCrystal that I've made so far. In general, for class work, I'm trying to stick to a restricted diet of web-app's - even free ones - that students already (almost) have at their command.

    To find and preview images for a presentation about a book like The Little Prince, SearchCrystal is quite appealing, especially for learners (myself included) who are visually oriented. It would be really great if you could tailor its searches to highlight Creative Commons images for students to use in their blogs.

    SearchCrystal output reminds me a bit of the Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus, which site vistors can try a few times for free, and of do-it-yourself IHMC CmapTools, into which users build available images.


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