What are some interesting / unusual / specialized Web search tools?
November 8, 2014 6:42 AM   Subscribe

I've been playing around with the Wireless Geographic Logging Engine and Shodan, and would like to hear from other MeFites about their favorite useful / interesting specialized Web search tools. Which do you use regularly or for specific, arcane (at least to others outside your profession) tasks? The bizarre and creepy are also of interest here - I'm casting a big net.
posted by ryanshepard to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Mac-Expert at 8:48 AM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's not within my professional interest but I regularly use Old Maps Online to find historical maps for my rail tracing projects.
Also for finding sounds in the effort of intimidating and/or and terrifying my shriekhead bird into silence, I've used this engine. Preliminary results. Crows and mortar shells work, hawks and peacocks do not.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:09 AM on November 8, 2014

The BMI and ASCAP song databases, which contain a wealth of information beyond their primary function of indexing rights holders. I can spend hours just surfing those databases.
posted by spitbull at 9:54 AM on November 8, 2014

Wolfram Alpha
posted by bendy at 11:15 AM on November 8, 2014

birthdatabase.com ("Can't remember the birthday of a friend, relative or co-worker? Search our database of 120 million names and birth dates")

BeerMenus ("Explore places nearby and check out their beer menu, or search for your favorite beers to find places that sell them")

Sarlo's Guru Rating Service ("a compilation of mostly non-mainstream religious leaders whose mission/job description is basically to help us lift ourselves out of the multiple ruts of misery we find ourselves in as we live our lives. Their methods, quality and authenticity vary tremendously, as do the degree to which they encourage worship of their exalted selves and even their conceptions of our misery")

WorldCat ("Find items in libraries near you. 2 billion items available here through a library")

BookFinder ("Search hundreds of millions of books from over 100,000 booksellers and 60+ websites worldwide")

TinEye ("a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version")

...and, since you asked for creepy
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:43 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For electronic components, there is OctoPart ("Find parts fast. Search across hundreds of distributors and thousands of manufacturers").
posted by James Scott-Brown at 1:55 PM on November 8, 2014

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