Preview Playtime: It’s all in the query

written by Neil on November 9, 2012 in Behind the scenes with 2 comments

Okay, I know we’re a little late with our ‘Highlight Wednesday’ this week; but it’s never too late to share our exciting new updates. See them all on preview.europeana.eu.

One of the niftiest improvements we’ve made is to do with the automatic suggestions that pop up as you type your search query. This means it’s now easier and faster to search Europeana because we’ll predict what you’re looking for and make recommendations based on that, before you’ve even finished typing! We understand you’re often short of time and a little bit of guidance might just help, and we also want to expand your options so that you can make more informed and pin-pointed searches within Europeana.

Along with the suggested queries you’ll also see a category associated with your search, for example, places, creators and subjects. You can also manually select the category filter you want to use on the left-hand side of the search box. Even better – we’ve also put the number of results for each suggested query in brackets, so you’ll now get a good indication which query is going to provide the most extensive results before actually submitting your search request – fantastic!

You’ll see that in my example I’m using my hometown, often referred to simply as ‘Newcastle’, but officially known as ‘Newcastle Upon Tyne’ and luckily, Europeana reminded me of that so I only look at results for the town I’m interested in. It also made it easier for me to distinguish the city in the north east of England from the small town in Ireland.

By the way, we have some fantastic content related to Newcastle Upon Tyne, including images of the construction of the Tyne Bridge, one of the most iconic landmarks of Newcastle and a testament to the region’s industrial pride and engineering excellence. At the time it of its opening in 1928, it was the largest single-span bridge in the world, but then the record was broken by the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which opened in 1932 with its uncanny resemblance.

Construction of the Tyne Brudge – Andy Williamson

Moving things along, we encourage you to give the new search box a whirl and share your experiences with us. How did it work for you and did you encounter any funny or strange suggestions?

Please forgive us if you encounter any inaccuracies or performance issues, this feature is currently in preview and will soon be rolled out on the current portal. Your feedback has a real impact so please tell us what you think!

For bug reporting, you can fill out a specialised form; otherwise just drop your comments in the field below.

Happy searching all you Europeana-ians!