chapter 4MIKE MENCHACAMethods for indexing and retrieving information have existed since the moment
humankind started keeping records. When Ptolemy I established the great Library
of Alexandria in 290 B.C., he also created a way to store and retrieve its important
documents. In the latter half of the 19th century, Melvil Dewey invented a classification system with a standard index to search and retrieve books and documents.The Internet and the World Wide Web contain a wealth of documents, journals,
articles, books, and more. However, all this information is useless unless there is a
way to locate the materials you need. As a result of the popularity of the World Wide
Web as a source for information, many organizations and companies have created
incredibly fast and complex databases to help users search and locate specific items
in its wealth of information. These companies and organizations have taken several
different approaches to collecting, indexing, and then searching through the information.This chapter should help you understand how search engines collect information,
how to search through the information that is collected, and finally, how to find
specialized collections and engines appropriate for high school students.
Search Engines Explained
How SearchSearch engines use several methods for collecting and indexing information from the
World Wide Web. Two methods are the most common:
|• ||using spiders and bots, which rely heavily on technology|
|• ||compiling and categorizing information, which requires significant human resources|
SPIDERS AND BOTS
A popular method for collecting information from the Web uses spiders, or Web
crawlers, which navigate through the Web on their own, following links and fetching information, which is added to a huge, powerful existing database (example,
AltaVista). These spiders are automated robots—hence, the term [bots]—that require
intense and powerful computer processors and massive amounts of storage space.
The benefit of using spiders and bots to gather information is that the information
can be gathered and made available quickly and easily. The spiders and bots allow for
a very large amount of information to be collected and indexed.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Science Units for Grades 9-12.
Contributors: Randy L. Bell - Editor, Joe Garofalo - Editor, Deborah Aufdenspring - Author, Ian C. Binns - Author, Adrienne Gauthier - Author, Karen E. Irving - Author, Stacey Koonce - Author, Lawrence Krissek - Author, Walter McKenzie - Author, Rebecca L. McNall - Author, Mike Menchaca - Author, Jeffrey Nugent - Author, Susan O'Hara - Author, Jeffrey J. Steckroth - Author, Jessica Stephenson - Author, Gerry Swan - Author, Douglas Toti - Author, Kathy Trundle - Author.
Publisher: International Society for Technology in Education.
Place of publication: Eugene, OR.
Publication year: 2005.
Page number: 26.
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