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A Search Service that Can Peer Into the Future

By Technology Review

August 26, 2010

Yahoo!'s Barcelona research lab has developed Time Explorer, a prototype news search engine that generates timelines that stretch into the future as well as the past. Time Explorer's results page consists of an interactive timeline showing how the volume of articles on a particular subject has changed over time. The most relevant articles appear on the timeline, and if the user scrolls into the future, articles appear positioned at any point in time the text might have referred to.

Yahoo! researchers say the search engine provides a new way to find articles, as well as a way to check up on past predictions. "You can see for wars or any other event not only the people that are important, but when they became important," says Yahoo!'s Michael Matthews.

Although Time Explorer only works with old news, it could be used to study new coverage, and put it into context, according to Matthews.

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