Kartoo is a search engine that displays network results.
I recall someone posting its coordinates a while ago; here is a longer


  Barry Wellman        Professor of Sociology       NetLab Director
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  Centre for Urban & Community Studies        University of Toronto
  455 Spadina Avenue   Toronto Canada M5S 2G8   fax:+1-416-978-7162

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Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 02:21:44 +0100
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Subject: MAPPING-CYBERSPACE Digest - 8 Aug 2002 to 19 Aug 2002 (#2002-10)

There is one message totalling 110 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Inf@Vis! num. 97: KartOO (fwd)


Date:    Mon, 19 Aug 2002 10:08:26 +0100
From:    martin dodge <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Inf@Vis! num. 97: KartOO (fwd)

might be of interest to some.

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Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2002 23:07:23 +0200
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Inf@Vis! num. 97: KartOO


The digital magazine of
[Number 97]

by Juan C. D=FCrsteler

KartOO is a new meta search engine that shows graphically the results it ge=
ts. Its technology extends to products oriented towards information retriev=
al within the corporate world.

(See the graphical version of this issue at

A new meta search engine, KartOO (, was launched on A=
pril 25th, 2002. It=92s based on a technology developed for 3 years by Laur=
ent Baleydier and his team, from the company Kartoo.S.A. constituted in 200=
1 and successor of Alcyon Interactive Company

KartOO is programmed in Flash although you have an optional traditional HTM=
L interface. As in any search engine you find a command line waiting for yo=
u typing the query you are interested in. Once you click on OK, KartOO laun=
ches the query to a set of search engines, gathers the results, compiles th=
em and represents them in a series of interactive maps through a proprietar=
y algorithm.

The graphic presentation shows the 10 (or the number you choose) first resu=
lts as balls, its size being proportional to the relative relevance. When y=
ou hover on top of the ball, a short description returned by the link is sh=
own. If you want to see more results, another map appears just by clicking =
on the appropriate link, as in any typical search engine.

What makes KartOO interesting is that it elaborates the so called semantic =
links between results. Those links are represented by sinuous lines that li=
nk the balls. Amidst said lines you find a word that is the one the algorit=
hm considers that links both results semantically. By hovering on top of it=
 you can highlight the related balls. When hovering over the ball you can s=
ee all its related semantic links highlighted. Curiously enough, there aren=
=92t links among the successive maps you can ask for.

Each word has a plus (+) and a minus (=96) sign. Clicking one or the other,=
 KartOO restarts the meta search including or excluding the word in the que=
ry accordingly to the sign picked.

KartOO is a technology of visual representation of meta searches. As such, =
the meta search engine is only the showroom of a series of products address=
ed to companies interested in the information retrieval of its data bases, =
intranet, etc. Those interested in the product range can visit http://www.k=

The idea behind KartOO is not a new one, although its algorithms and graphi=
cal representation are new. For example, has a v=
isualisation system that, as a showroom, allows you to search visually in t=
he Open Directory Project ( It also has products orien=
ted to the corporative world that use its own technology.

Visual search has the enormous advantage of catching your gaze. You have al=
l the stuff in front of your eyes and you can identify relevant results att=
ending to stimulus like size, lines and colours.

Nevertheless, despite the good services offered by KartOO and, amon=
g others, I still find what I=92m looking for earlier with Google (http://w=, which leaves me somewhat upset.

Maybe the problem is not the chosen visual representation but that we conti=
nue doing the same thing (finding a relevance ordered list of results), onl=
y representing it visually. It reminds me of when we talk about =93computer=
ising=94 an inefficient process by doing the same process, just much quicke=
r, by computer, instead of seizing the opportunity to adapt the process to =
the new system.

Perhaps visual representations will begin to predominate in information ret=
rieval when they show things that we can not see in the ordered list. The s=
emantic links of KartOO are an incipient step forward in this sense.
=A9 J.C. D=FCrsteler 2000 - 2002, Barcelona, Spain.
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End of MAPPING-CYBERSPACE Digest - 8 Aug 2002 to 19 Aug 2002 (#2002-10)