Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Searching for Math Equations and Symbols on the Web: Part 3

Part 1, Part 2

No joy on the LaTEX front. J's post on math on the web caused me to smack my forehead and wonder if I had been missing something big. Well, yes and no. First, the way Wikipedia deals with symbols, etc., is actually pleasant. Compare to other methods. So I decided to try the major search engines using the coding used to implement the TeX markup in Wikipedia.

\nabla – found places the word "nabla" appears including the history of the symbol, etc.
\partial – yuck. found partial den tu res, partial-b1rth abo rti ons, Springer, Wiley, and Dekker journals (but just from the titles apparently)
"\nabla" – same as above, but also has this page that has what looks like TeX in the source code.
"\partial" – same yuck.
open tag math close tag \nabla* – (as compared to above and as compared to math nabla) better than without the math - but this is just my trick of specifying domain when doing natural language searching!! It doesn't really get any TeX stuff. It does retrieve other wikis that give instructions for adding formulae.
open tag math close tag\partial – see above. Note, though that this page was generated in LaTeX and converted to HTML - the equations are in fact PNGs but the alt's for the images are the actual LaTeX writing! I tried this in the google image search and it gives me whole page jpgs, not individual equations for the most part. Here's an exception.

So, it looks like you can search for the TeX coding in the images search somewhat successfully if the author used a conversion tool that added the encoding as the ALT for the image.


Very much the same as Google. At first I thought the image thing was working much better, but then I realized that they were all from the same site.

Doesn't index symbols at all
*Note: apparently blogger is trying to interpret the math tag. curious.

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