Google Semantic Search of Wikipedia

I was just googling and came across something I’ve never seen before. The first result for “bill gates children” was “Bill Gates — Children: 3” with an attribution to wikipedia.

Google Semantic Search?

I couldn’t repeat the result searching for the children of other public figures, but then I tried “Bill Gates born”, and got another semantic result from Wikipedia:

google semantic search?

The born search works for lots of public figures, like Elvis and Nixon.

This really surprised me, especially since I haven’t seen anyone else talking about it. I wonder if this is a response to microsoft’s recent acquistion of Powerset and an answer to those wondering whether the Microsoft/Powerset combo would beat Google.

Searching Powerset for “Bill Gates Born” delivers a similar looking result as the top item. (Update: I just noticed that Powerset’s summary result is actually from Freebase. Dumb that I didn’t notice, because my first thought was that that was where Google was pulling their info from.

One thought on “Google Semantic Search of Wikipedia

  1. Mathias Schindler

    The feature is rather old. Basically every Wikipedia information that is stored in a template information can be queried that way:

    Try: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD

    The template reads:

    {{Infobox media
    |name=HD DVD
    |logo=[[Image:HD-DVD.svg|200px|HD DVD logo]]
    |image=
    |type=High-density [[optical disc]]
    |encoding=[[VC-1]], [[H.264]], and [[MPEG-2]]
    |capacity=15 [[Gigabyte|GB]] (single layer)30 [[Gigabyte|GB]] (dual layer)
    |read=1× @ 36 [[Megabit per second|Mbit/s]] & 2× @ 72 Mbit/s
    |write=
    |standard=
    |owner=[[DVD Forum]]
    |use=Data storage, including [[high-definition video]]
    |extended from=
    |extended to=
    }}

    http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=16c&q=HD+DVD+capacity&btnG=Search

    HD DVD — Capacity: 15 GB (single layer) and 30 GB (dual layer)
    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD

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