Hands-on with Google Docs’s new research tool by Joel Mathis, Macworld.com.
From the post:
The feature, announced Tuesday, appears as an in-page vertical pane on the right side of your Google Doc. (You can see an example of the pane at left.) It can be accessed either through the page’s Tools menu, or with a Command-Option-R keyboard shortcut on your Mac.
The tool offers three types of searches: A basic “everything” search, another just for images, and a third featuring quotes about—or by—the subject of your search.
In “everything” mode, a search for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney brought up a column of images and information. At the top of the column, a scrollable set of thumbnail pictures of the man, followed by some basic dossier information—birthday, hometown, and religion—followed by a quote from Romney, taken from an ABC News story that had appeared within the last hour.
The top Web links for a topic are displayed underneath that roster of information. You’re given three option with the links: First, you can “preview” the linked page within the Google Docs page—though you’ll have to open a new tab if you want to conduct a more thorough perusal of the pertinent info. The second option is to create a link to that page directly from the text you’re writing. The third is to create a footnote in the text that cites the link.
Interfaces are forced to make assumptions about the “average” user and their needs. This one sounds like it is hitting around or even close to needs that are fairly common.
Makes me wonder if topic map authoring interfaces should place more emphasis on incorporation of content and authoring, with correspondingly less emphasis on the topic mappishness of the result.
Perhaps cleaning up a map is something that should be a separate task anyway.
Authors write and editors edit.
Is there some reason to combine those two tasks?
(I first saw this at Research Made Easy With Google Docs by Stephen Arnold.)