Searching the Web in Three Dee

I originally thought this wasn’t going to be much more than a novelty, but it’s actually rather neat. Spacetime allows you to search and get your results as Web pages. It’s in beta.

Do a search (it defaults to Google but you can search other resources like Wikipedia,, and Amazon) and Spacetime will think about it for a few minutes and the present your results to you as a series of Web pages through which you can browse. A plugin is not required; the site is Flash-based. (Because of that it’s a little slow to load, but not to the point that it’s unusable.) You can see the screenshot below to see how it looks.

3-D Web Search with Thumbnails
(What happens when there’s no page preview available? You get a blue screen with the words “NO PREVIEW”. I only saw that once.)

There’s a bar at the bottom of the page that allows you to move through the results, but you can also paginate through the results by clicking on a page. Another click and a new page opens with a direct link to the site.

The strength of a search like this is obviously that you can review a lot of pages at once and you can also get a good sense of which sites are legit and which aren’t. (It’s not foolproof, of course…) The pages are large enough that you can actually read a lot of them without having to jump to the actual site itself. The downside of it is that the Web page previews look like, well, WEB PAGES; I kept trying to interact with them like Web pages even though I knew rationally they were just images.

I think my favorite use for this site wasn’t even the Google search; it was the Wikipedia search. Searching for a general topic and getting all the pages in one place gave me a way to flip through them quickly and get an idea of the kinds of topics that were relevant to the general search. I could then refine my wikipedia search and run another one, etc etc. Very handy.

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