There was a laundry list of announcements that Google made today. Danny has captured the big ones. Here are a couple of things on the list that didn’t make the headlines: CLIR and Google Views (Experimental/Labs).
Google VP of Engineering Udi Manber (formerly CEO of A9) introduced a program Google is calling cross-language information retrieval (CLIR). The translation capability isn’t launching today but “very soon” in 12 languages, with more to come. According to Manber, the goal is to take “all the Web and translate into multiple languages.”
Search queries will be entered in the native language, translated into English and run against Google’s index. Any retrieved pages/sites will then be translated from English back into the native language. Manber said it “opens up the Web universally to the whole world.”
Manber showed selected examples from Arabic into English and back (“restaurants in New York” and “typing test” were the queries). He acknowledged that the translations are unlikely are to be perfect but the idea is to expand the value of the Google index and English language sites to non-English speakers.
Another interesting announcement was under the banner of Google Labs, Google Views. Google is offering multiple views of range of subjects. Google presents search results in several alternative “views”: list/Web, timeline and map views. Here are several examples:
The data for the timelines and maps are “extracted” from existing websites and offer potentially valuable alternative ways to look at information according to chronology and location.