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Some estimates put the number of Web pages that are hidden from the view of most search engines at 500 billion.....

"Although it seems like an apocalyptic change now, over time we'll see that young people will grow up using many ways of finding information," said Abby Smith, director of programs at the Council on Library and Information Resources, a nonprofit group in Washington.

"We'll see the current generation we accuse of doing research in their pajamas develop highly sophisticated searching strategies to find high quality information on the Web," Dr. Smith said. "It's this transition period we're in, when not all high-quality information is available on the Web — that's what we lament."

Dr. Joseph Janes, associate professor and chairman of library and information science at the University of Washington, said that, like many others, he occasionally pined for the days spent in musty library stacks, where one could chance upon scholarly gems by browsing the shelves.

"You can think of electronic research as a more impoverished experience," Dr. Janes said. "But in some ways it's a richer one, because you have so much more access to so much more information. The potential is there for this to be a real bonus to humanity, because we can see more and read more and do more with it. But it is going to be very different in lots of ways." - Katie Hafner, "Old Search Engine, the Library, Tries to Fit Into a Google World", New York Times, June 21, 2004

"Researchers at Purdue University have developed a search engine that retrieves results based on an image or a sketch. Draw a picture of a wing nut, and the engine will search a database and retrieve all the images that match the drawing ..... Although the shape search engine now works only on confined databases that contain a few thousand images, the technology is intended to handle greater capacities. Its earliest appearance outside the research lab is expected to be in industrial databases rather than in commercial search tools.  But in 10 to 15 years, image searches will likely be taking place on the Internet, according to Karthik Ramani, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue and director of the university's Research and Education Center for Information Systems in Engineering."

- "Search gets sketchy, as engines get the picture", Michael Kanellos and Stefanie Olsen, Staff Writer, CNET News.com
http://news.com.com/2100-1038-5182775.html, Story last modified March 31, 2004, 2:03 PM PST