I browsed around Google Labs the other day and found Google Sets which seemed quaint but not all that useful. Then I read about how other people suggested using the service and I found a few cool applications.
It can be used to recommend new musicians. You put in your top three favorite artists and see who else it includes in the set.
Find out all the cities in a state by entering a few that you know.
Other categories I thought of include the fifty states, cars, restaurants, planets in the solar system, presidents of the United States, entertainers and dozens more. In my tests there were a few odd entries that didn’t fit so it’s not definitive, but if used in conjunction with other research you can filter out the anomalies.
In short, if you know a few items from a set and want to know the rest of them, it can be a handy little tool.
Heh, I put in Riker and Picard. Now I have a list of other Star Trek character names to randomly throw in and impress my husband in emails.
It is cool and might be useful in some exploratory research, but it gives sort of unfocused results for anything. Personally I am still waiting for the ability to search using ratios London:England::Madagascar:___
Fun sets I’ve tried:
Bacon,Sausage,Ham -> Crab Meat
Hitler, Stallin, Hussein -> Gahndi
Dan,Chris, Mike -> Vishaal
Cats, Dog, Birds -> Clearance Items
blood, sweat, tear -> Petroleum Jelly
kiss, hug -> Show everyone what you’ve got
Renee: Now that’s useful!
Stephen: Those are some interesting sets you’ve found there. I don’t know how useful they are, but interesting nonetheless.
Yeah Renee’s is definately the most useful set I’ve seen thus far. I tried coming up with a more useful set by putting in restaurants that are specifically near my house, but it came up with restaurants from all over the place. I tried to come up with a collection of states, but it only came up with 36 of them (heck I could probably name 40 of them – and most all of the important ones :-). It also only came up with 40 countries (Of which Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia made the cut though China,England, and Canada did not). Carmakers was the most useful list I’ve found.
The service definitely has some quirks that need to be worked out, but I think you may be expecting too much. It’s using a global data set, so using it to find restaurants near your house would be better suited to Google Local, where you could put in restaurants and your zip code.