Learning to Narrow Web Results Can Be the Key to Successful On-Line Searching. Part 2. Where Is the Fire Information?
Learning to Narrow Web Results Can Be the Key to
Successful On-Line Searching. Part 2. Where Is the
Jason, N. H.
Fire Findings, Vol. 8, No. 1, 12-14, Winter 2000.
databases; predictive models; fire research; fire
protection engineering; fire departments; search
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?