WWW Virtual Library
way to explain what the WWW Virtual Library is than to quote it directly:
Virtual Library (VL) is the oldest catalogue of the web, started by Tim
Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and of the web itself, in 1991 at CERN in
The WWW VL comes with
some impressive credentials, and it’s hosted in East Anglia!
you can’t get better credentials than that. The WWWVL is maintained by a large
group of volunteers who look after certain areas of content, following strict
guidelines set down by the Council of the VL. While it doesn’t contain and link
to every item of the invisible web, it certainly does an admirable job of
pulling in hundreds of results that would never appear on Google.
as well as beinghosted by mirrors from all over the world, the longest residing
in Argentina, you can search directly via the East Anglia mirror located here:
vlib.org.uk. A quick example of the type of results you would expect from the
WWWVL appears when you type in ‘Stratospheric Ozone Depletion’ – something, no
doubt, at the tip of your tongue. After a brief pause, you’ll be presented with
a selection of results from various scientific organisations and libraries from
across the globe.
BrightPlanet is fast
becoming the gateway to the invisible web.
the ‘front door to the Deep Web’, CompletePlanet was originally developed by
the BrightPlanetgroup to identify and tap into the wealth of information that’s
usually hidden from the normal search engine.
works by scanning the various fields represented in the hundreds of thousands
of databases that are out there, collating the metadata and finally beaming it
back to your desktop. As CompletePlanet states, it’s capable of ‘Finding
databases with highly relevant documents that cannot be crawled or indexed by
surface web search engines.’
By its own
admission, though, it only scratches the surface of these databases, bringing
up the relevant tags based on the keywords you entered. For a deeper probe into
the much deeper layers of the databases, you’ll need a more specialised tool,
such as the Deep Query Manager (DQM), which is also from the BrightPlanet group
and nicely advertised on the CompletePlanet site. There’s nothing quite like a
little self-advertising every now and then.
back to the CompletePlanet by pointing your collective browsers to
aip.completeplanet.com. As with a few of the other invisible web search
engines, you’ll notice there’s number of categories available from which to
search. A good one to start with is the ‘Products and Technology’ link, which
will yield a rather impressive 1,000 hits from databases around the world, and
Infoplease, but it’s a rather good site.
Please, as the site is officially known, has been answering factual questions
since 1938, obviously not as a website, but rather starting life as a popular
radio quiz show, which lasted up to the 1950s. After that, it then became an
annual almanac (which is still going, apparently), and then on to the WWW from
1998, so as you can imagine the Infoplease site has quite a lot going for it.
it’s a part of the Pearson education group, as well as the Financial Times and
the Penguin Group, which at least means you’re in good company when you land on
its page. It’s also one of the most adver-heavy search engines we’ve come
across, with continual running commercials gracing the edges of the page, and
even the occasional pop-up asking if you fancy owning an iPad.
despite the gross sell-out to advertising, Infopleaseis actually a very good
invisible web search engine. By pointing your browser to www.infoplease.com, you’ll notice it as a
vast number of searchable databases to trawl through. There’s an atlas, which
will produce an interactive globe packed to the rafters withgeographical,
political and territorial information. There’s an encyclopaedia that delves
into the vast fountain of knowledge of the academic advisors of the mighty
Columbia Encyclopaedia. The list goes on – dictionaries, thesauruses, timelines
– and there are even quizzes for children and adults.
month hosts a particular theme; at the time of writing, Infoplease was
celebrating Black History Month, so there’s really no excuse for not doing that
homework due to lack of information.