Wolfram|Alpha’s First Production Update

The Wolfram|Alpha blog announced that they will be updating their index of structured data today. In fact, they gave a very detailed explanation of what exactly they are updating. Unlike, Google, Yahoo or Bing, Wolfram’s updates are not necessarily web crawls, but rather Wolfram uses sources of data to build their index and provide structured answers.

Here are the details of what Wolfram|Alpha is updating:

  • Additional linguistic forms for many types of data and questions
  • More comparisons of composite properties (e.g. "US military vs. UK")
  • Combined time series plots of different quantities (e.g. "germany gdp vs population")
  • More complete handling of government positions (e.g. "chancellor", etc.)
  • Updates to country borders for India, China, Slovenia, Croatia, and others
  • Updates to naming for certain politically sensitive countries and regions
  • Additional subcountry regions (e.g. "Wales"); many more to come
  • Additional support for current and past fractional timezones (e.g. "Iran time")
  • City-by-city handling of U.S. states with multiple timezones
  • Updates to certain European currencies (e.g. for "Cyprus" and "Slovakia")
  • Some additional historical events; many more to come
  • Additional probability computations for cards and coins (e.g. "2 or 3 aces")
  • Additional output for partitions of integers (e.g. "partitions of 47")
  • Implicit handling of geometric figure properties (e.g. "ellipse with area 6 and major axis 2")
  • Additional support for Mathematica 3D graphics syntax
  • Additional support for stock prices with explicit dates
  • Support for planet-to-planet distances and “nearest planet”, etc.
  • Extra information when comparing incompatible units (e.g. "ergs vs. newtons")
  • Improved linguistic handling for many foods (e.g. "love apple")
  • More mountains added, especially in Australia
  • Support for many less-common given names (e.g. "zebulon")
  • More “self-aware” questions answered (e.g. "how old are you")
  • More consistent handling of sidebar links to Wikipedia, etc.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Wolfram Alpha

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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