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Learning to Narrow Web Results Can Be the Key to Successful On-Line Searching. Part 2. Where Is the Fire Information?


pdf icon Learning to Narrow Web Results Can Be the Key to Successful On-Line Searching. Part 2. Where Is the Fire Information? (440 K)
Jason, N. H.

Fire Findings, Vol. 8, No. 1, 12-14, Winter 2000.

Keywords:

databases; predictive models; fire research; fire protection engineering; fire departments; search engines; libraries

Abstract:

Where are you going to find meaningful fire information? In the last issue of Fire Findings (Vol. 7, No. 4), we discussed using FIREDOC, an electronic card catalog (bibliographic fire database) and other electronic catalogs. Now let's look at some ways to find fire information on the Web, a good tool for locating many different types of information. Software called search engines can help you find the information you need among millions of Web sites. Everyone has a favorite search engine or two, so we'll look at two popular ones and two megasearch engines. We'll show you the results of practice searches for information about electrical fires and pyrolysis of wood. You're probably familiar with the Alta Vista and Yahoo search engines, and we'll show you how to reduce the number of hits you get there. We'll also review FAST -- the biggest search engine -- and Northern Light, a close second in size. Figure 1 describes these search engines and their strengths. To narrow the results from some search engines, try using some of the same search techniques as in an electronic card catalog. Why look through 3,000 Web pages when software can narrow the results meaningfully?