Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

wolfram alpha search engineCalling Wolfram Alpha a computational knowledge engine surely puts off a lot of people who are mathematically and statistically challenged. I am one of them, so it took me a fair amount of time to get around to using Wolfram Alpha and the way it takes a query and spits out factual data.

If you are still drunk on Google and other traditional ways of doing search, take a sober pill and give Wolfram Alpha a look.

Yes, Wolfram Alpha still doesn’t have a handle on the entire human knowledge, but it has its unique take on answering questions, comparing keywords, and projecting data.


After understanding the true power of Wolfram Alpha The True Power of the Wolfram Alpha Knowledge Engine The True Power of the Wolfram Alpha Knowledge Engine Read More , you will appreciate it as one of the most powerful search engines out there. But is Wolfram Alpha too daunting for a layman? Looking at all the mathematical equations and statistical graphs that the search tool drums out, it seems so.

But even an Average Joe like me can sometimes throw everyday problems at it. And come out with answers easy enough to read. So here are ten of those search queries.

Which Website Is More Popular

Instead of individually looking up figures, you can do a quick comparison of websites to see which is more popular. Computational comparisons are a nifty feature of Wolfram Alpha. You can also lookup website data of any web address.

Ads by Google

wolfram alpha search engine

(Wolfram Alpha pulls in the data from Alexa.com’s database. Some SEO experts do have a problem with the way Alexa draws its data however).

My IP Is?

Wolfram Alpha comes with location awareness. So it can used just like an IP tracker. Type in “˜Where Am I?’ and you get your exact geo-located co-ordinates.

wolfram alpha search

Alternatively, you can find the souls behind an IP number or an URL by putting it as a search string.

wolfram alpha search

As The Crow Flies

You can get the direct travel times and the distance between two cities. Average figures are calculated for ships, cars, and airplanes. Other information like local times at both locations is also attached.

wolfram alpha search

Get To Know Your Kissing Cousins

Wolfram Alpha has a Genealogy engine that can trace your family relationships. To make it easier, you also get a “˜tree’ diagram. Just the thing to find out the right introductions at family dos.

alpha search engine

What We Speak & Write

Wolfram Alpha has a host of tools or “˜converters’ which are of real use. For instance, you can figure the number of words needed to fill up the right number of pages (and the typing time to finish a book).

Then the search engine extends a “˜cheating’ hand with its puzzle solvers along with the usual dictionary help. Here’s what the Words & Linguistics features can do:

alpha search engine

The Time In Timbuktu

You can get the time information of any place, compare local times of several places, and also convert a time in any city to your time.

alpha search engine

Following the Date & Time calculations, you can do a host of things like printing out calendars, find out how many days till Christmas, or get the dates of holidays for a given year. The results are as per your location.

Switch On The Weather Channel

Wolfram Alpha can be your personal weather search engine. It covers a host of ways to get specific weather information and forecasts for your city or one of your choice.

Watch What You Are Eating

Wolfram Alpha can be used as an online calorie counter. You can not only get nutritional information on a food, you can also get it for those that end up as packaged brands on our kitchen shelves. Yes, some of the information goes into the actual mineral and molecular composition, but you can pick out the calorie information for the serving and the percentage of daily intake. And export is all as a PDF.

Again, let’s put a food (or beverage) through a comparison. It tells me that drinking vodka would be the quicker way to get the beer belly.

Hit The Gym…Or Climb The Stairs

You know how many calories you are picking up. So use the same search box to find out how many you can burn with a specific activity. There are a few ways you can compute the physical exercises needed to burn the fat.

When you do this calculation, also scroll down and check out the Equivalent Activities section. Mine tells me that I can repair an airplane for two hours or conduct an orchestra for three to burn the same amount of calories.

Color Swatch From A Search Box

We know “˜bittersweet’ as a feeling, but do you know what it looks like? Wolfram Alpha tells us that it’s a color that’s a shade closer to salmon and Indian red. Complementary colors are also given which tell us which colors can be matched. If you are looking for a three color scheme, pick up the swatch on the color triad. Designers can also quickly pick up the hexadecimal and RGB color codes.

wolfram alpha search engine

From top to bottom, Wolfram Alpha is a search engine. Just like any other search engine, it depends on third party sources for the information and its accuracy. Also, results will hit the target or miss the spot depending on the search query you feed it. It is not a magic oracle but a work in progress. But the work done so far is impressive.

Let us know if and how you are thinking of using Wolfram Alpha every day.

  1. tushar
    November 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    take a look at vsql-email (sql-email.com), is very simple to use and it saved me a lot of time

  2. Aibek
    October 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    thank you, we don't mind.

    We only ask that you give us the credit in the article. Something like
    "source:makeuseof.com" will suffice.

    Aibek

  3. Zuzia Hartleb
    October 11, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Hello!
    I liked this article so much I translated it to Polish and posted on my blog. Hope you don't mind.
    http://anitix.wordpress.com/20...

  4. Zuzia Hartleb
    October 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Hello!
    I liked this article so much I translated it to Polish and posted on my blog. Hope you don't mind.
    http://anitix.wordpress.com/2010/10/11/10-codziennych-pytan-na-ktore-odpowie-wolfram-alpha/

    • Aibek
      October 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      thank you, we don't mind.

      We only ask that you give us the credit in the article. Something like
      "source:makeuseof.com" will suffice.

      Aibek

  5. Anonymous
    August 25, 2010 at 2:24 am

    good!

  6. Tony
    August 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

    An excellent collection of tips for using Wolfram Alpha. Keep up the good work Saikat!

    • Saikat Basu
      August 1, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks Tony. Glad you appreciate the tips.

  7. NaomiJ
    July 31, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    WolframAlpha is one of the most genius sites ever created; I was glad to find that there's a free app for the iPad. I put it on my main page and use it often. Thanks for the excellent tips!

  8. Guest
    July 31, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Try typing profanity, you'll get a response. This shows how much effort they've put in!
    eg. XXXX YOU!

  9. Guest
    July 31, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Try typing profanity, you'll get a response. This shows how much effort they've put in!
    eg. XXXX YOU!

    • Saikat Basu
      July 31, 2010 at 9:58 am

      Just shows that it's more gentlemanly than Google!

  10. Guest
    July 31, 2010 at 10:17 am
  11. Guest
    July 31, 2010 at 8:17 am
  12. Merrymuze
    July 31, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Very useful article, Saikat! Thank you.

  13. Pvilan
    July 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks!
    Very useful indeed!

  14. Pvilan
    July 30, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Thanks!
    Very useful indeed!

  15. Alok
    July 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    @Saikat
    For a more reasonable beer/vodka comparison you should have entered "beer v vodka" rather than "1 beer v 1 vodka". Who drinks 1 fl oz beer and stops :)?

  16. AC
    July 30, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    @Saikat
    For a more reasonable beer/vodka comparison you should have entered "beer v vodka" rather than "1 beer v 1 vodka". Who drinks 1 fl oz beer and stops :)?

    • Saikat Basu
      July 31, 2010 at 5:58 am

      Ha..ha, I put it because then you can simply take the base and keep on multiplying (and multiplying) till the search box starts getting fuzzy:)

  17. Anonymous
    July 30, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Instantly bookmarked this. makes for good reading.

  18. Saadak
    July 28, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Good article

  19. Bill Bell
    July 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Don't you love the way W-A says, 'Assuming that "mars bar" is a food"? It's only an assumption. Thanks for a good article.

    • Saikat Basu
      July 28, 2010 at 4:31 am

      Yes Bill, for a lot of things, W-A picks up the right 'assumption'. Then it sometimes gives you alternative options too. Put the word 'wife' in W-A, and the engine tells us that in terms of usage it's ranked at 670, while 'husband' is at 841st. Just tells you who's winning the battles of the sexes :)

  20. Atle Iversen
    July 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    WolframAlpha is very impressive for some uses (and bad for other) - and this article gave me a few new ideas ! It is *very* powerful if you use it for the right stuff...

    I've set up Opera shortcuts so that I simply type "g einstein" for a google search, "w einstein" for a wikipedia search, and "wa einstein" for a WolframAlpha search.

  21. Atle Iversen
    July 27, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    WolframAlpha is very impressive for some uses (and bad for other) - and this article gave me a few new ideas ! It is *very* powerful if you use it for the right stuff...

    I've set up Opera shortcuts so that I simply type "g einstein" for a google search, "w einstein" for a wikipedia search, and "wa einstein" for a WolframAlpha search.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *