Scientific American is seeking better Web searches. They report on all sorts of innovations happening outside the Google-Yahoo-MSN zone that the press is usually reporting on, including GPS-enhanced searches from University of Maryland, Shape Retrieval and Analysis from Princeton, musical search engine from New Zealand Digital Library Project, and some of the projects that A9 and Ask.com have been working on.
They also report on my favorite search engine that employs visualization: Kartoo. It is a so-called metasearch engine that submits the user’s query to other search engines and provides aggregated results in a visual form. Along with a list of key terms associated with various sites, Kartoo displays a catographic map that depicts important sites as icons and relations among the sites as labeled paths.