There is an open discussion in the geographic information community about the use of digital libraries or search engines for the discovery of resources. Some researchers suggest that search engines are a feasible alternative for searching geographic web services based on anecdotal evidence. The purpose of this study is to measure the performance of Bing (formerly Microsoft Live Search), Google and Yahoo! in searching standardised XML documents that describe, identify and locate geographic web services.
The study performed an automated evaluation of three search engines using their application programming interfaces. The queries asked for XML documents describing geographic web services, and documents containing links to those documents. Relevant XML documents linked from the documents found in the search results were also included in the evaluation.
The study reveals that the discovery of geographic web services in search engines does not require the use of advanced search operators. Data collected suggest that a resource‐oriented search should combine simple queries to search engines with the exploration of the pages linked from the search results. Finally the study identifies Yahoo! as the best performer.
This is the first study that measures and compares the performance of major search engines in the discovery of geographic web services. Previous studies were focused on demonstrating the technical feasibility of the approach. The paper also reveals that some technical advances in search engines could harm resource‐oriented queries.
Lopez‐Pellicer, F.J., Florczyk, A.J., Béjar, R., Muro‐Medrano, P.R. and Zarazaga‐Soria, F.J. (2011), "Discovering geographic web services in search engines", Online Information Review, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 909-927. https://doi.org/10.1108/14684521111193193Download as .RIS
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