The Picks: Sperling's Best Places Columbia World of Quotations Brainwave. (Peter's Picks & Pans)

By Jacso, Peter | Online, January-February 2002 | Go to article overview

The Picks: Sperling's Best Places Columbia World of Quotations Brainwave. (Peter's Picks & Pans)


Jacso, Peter, Online


The picks include the spiffy Sperling's Best Places site that offers highly customizable ranking of cities based on the users' preferences, and Columbia World of Quotations, the largest quotations dictionary, made available free of charge by Bartleby.com. The pan is the Brainwave site that offers database access with limited software capabilities, erroneous help information and only partial results, often for a price that is definitely not a good deal for the customer.

SPERLING'S BEST PLACES

Sperling's Best Places (www.bestplaces.net) is a sterling site with the best content and software in this genre. Rating cities by certain measurable criteria has been a specialty area of demographics--and several magazines, such as Forbes and Money--for more than a decade. The success of Places Rated Almanac, Frommer's Retirement Places Rated, and many copycats, encouraged other magazine publishers to run at least one story about the best places to live with your cats, the best places for online searching, or the best places for left-handed accountants. Lists of city rankings certainly became devalued. Sperling's Best Places site gives them a good name again.

Bert Sperling is certainly not a neophyte who just jumped on the city ranking bandwagon. He wrote his first software for ranking cities by user-weighted criteria 15 years ago. Happily, this software is now available free of charge on the Web for anyone. Relocation is far more a part of life in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, so this is a very useful resource for a large number of potential users. Money magazine licenses the data, but uses a slightly different software and set of criteria.

The Best Places site includes very detailed tabular data about climate, crime, and cost of living for 3,000 U.S. cities and lets you compare them with information presented side-by-side for easy comparison. I picked the most powerful component of the site, the Find Your Best Place database. If I were the site designer, I certainly would boldface the word Your because that is the best feature of the database, allowing the most flexible customization of criteria.

There are two search modes, a quick and a full version. The former has about 15 criteria; the latter has 70 that users can weigh to reflect how important these are for them. These are grouped under nine major categories: Climate, Economy, Housing, Education, Health, Crime, Recreation, Arts & Culture, and Transportation.

The number of criteria ranges from two to more than a dozen. For example, Crime has only two criteria: Violent Crime and Property Crime, and you can assign a weight on a scale from 1 to 10 to indicate how important low crime rate is for you or, in the unlikely situation, tell the software to ignore these criteria. Recreation has ten criteria, but you may choose one of the predefined user types: Single, Active Couple, With Kids, Empty Nest, and Retired. These have the weights assigned to each criteria based on the typical preferences, or you can start with a clean slate. After the first round, you can easily refine your criteria, rethinking perhaps how important the number of dance companies really are to you.

From the result list, click on a city to see its detailed profile. The national average is automatically listed parallel to your city's data. You cannot compare two cities in this module, but there is a separate new module for city comparisons where you can compare two cities' parameters, although they are not exactly the same, as in the Find Your Best Place database. No wonder that an increasing number of Web sites license Sperling's database--it certainly will increase their traffic.

COLUMBIA WORLD OF QUOTATIONS

Quotation collections are perennially popular reference sources. No wonder most Web directories bave a long list of quotations sites--good and bad alike. Once again, Bartleby. com made a welcome move, without much press coverage, by mounting a top-notch ready-reference source-- Columbia World of Quotations (www. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Picks: Sperling's Best Places Columbia World of Quotations Brainwave. (Peter's Picks & Pans)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.