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Kartoo takes the usual search results and makes them visual. Items appear as documents and are illustrated in a way that can show relationships between results. From a user interface perspective, Kartoo is a nice experiment. Kartoo is a meta search engine that uses the FlashPlayer to illustrate results. Click to zoom.
Kartoo does a nice job of retaining previous searches in its Flash format. That makes it easier to see previous searches.
Sponsored results not overbearing
Sponsor results are prominent in the bottom left part of the screen. But they are formatted in a way that’s not overbearing.
Connecting the dots
Mousing over a result gets you a preview in the left pane. Mousing over the result icon shows you how the terms connect in a Yahoo Pipes-ish format.
How'd I get here?
Kartoo provides an interesting interface at the top level results. To burrow in on an image and video search you’re bounced out to Yahoo’s search. The difference in user interface is jarring. Why not surface these results in the same format as Kartoo’s top level search?
Save a search map
Any map churned out by Kartoo can be saved for future reference. If you click on save you get a properties box.
An icon dictionary
Each icon in a search result has a meaning. This screen is an overview of what the icons represent.
Navigation is done via Maps. The one rub: The navigation pane resides at the bottom right part of the screen. I conducted several searches without even noticing it.