The Internet has a seemingly endless supply of information about our world, and modern search engines are the perfect tools for mining that knowledge. How effectively can you search for information on local and world geography? Can you find state capitals? The birthplaces of famous historical figures? How about the city where your favorite song was penned?
Pull up your favorite search engine and let’s put your search-savviness to the test.
Maybe the world is getting smaller, but there is a lot to know about it. Try the Search Box below to help you find the answers.
Time: 10 minutes
How did you do?
If you struggled with this, don’t worry. Learning to search effectively takes time and training. Spend some time with our Searching the Web guide and then try the quiz again.
If you passed, congratulations! Your high school geography teacher would be impressed. Now it’s time to take your searching skills to the next level. Check out our guide to Advanced Web Searching and find out how you can narrow your search results and find even more specific information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why doesn’t your answer match what I found online?
There could be a few explanations for this. First, the answer you found online may be wrong. Anyone can post information on the Internet, but it doesn’t mean it’s right. We’ve put together a great guide to help you Evaluate Online Information. A second reason there may be a difference is that some information changes over time. Capital cities change their name. Historians discover new facts that change what we thought we knew. It’s a good idea to check when web pages were last updated, so you can tell if the information is up-to-date. And the third reason is, we might be wrong. Like we just said, information changes. If you think we might have a mistake in our quiz, please let us know!
Are there other ways to find information, aside from search engines?
Search engines are the primary means of finding online information, but they won’t work for everything. Some information can’t be captured by search engine results, usually because it’s stored in databases that these tools can’t search or it requires a login to view. For these sites, you need to use special tools to unlock their hidden information, such as database search tools or your local library’s login credentials. If you’re not sure what tool will work best, our guide to Doing Research On the Internet can help.
This geography stuff is great. Where can I learn more?
If you’re interested in geography, there are plenty of websites out there filled with fun geography facts. Just do a search (now the you’re an expert) and you should find plenty. You may also want to consider joining a community or group of geography enthusiasts. The Internet is filled with groups centered around just about any interest. Our guide to Searching Groups can you help you find the perfect one for you.
Are social networks a useful way to find information?
Social networks can be a great way to find information, provided you connect with the right people. Just like Internet groups, most social media sites allow you to set up groups or clubs, or to use special keywords to engage with other uses that share your interests. If you’re just looking for statistics, using social media might not be as effective as finding it through a search engine. But for more in-depth information or to find out about someone’s personal experience with a location, social media is a great way to connect. To learn more and find the right site for you, check out our Social Network page.
How can I change my default search engine?
Most Web Browsers set their own search engine, or a search engine they’ve partnered with, as their default. If you would prefer to use a different search engine, you can usually change by visited the browsers options or settings menu. For more information about what search engines are available, see our guide to Searching the Web.
Now that you’ve mentioned all these great sites, can a search engine find me travel deals?
Travel deals are another one of those things most search engines can’t help you with, because travel information is constantly changing. To find out what current deals are available or to track a flight, you may need to use special tools, such as travel site’s search engines or an airline’s flight tracker. You can learn more about finding information search engines don’t gather, and tools for searching that information, in our Minding the Deep Web article. That said, some search providers are starting to build in additional tools for things like finding discount flights. Google Flights is a great example. It’s not a standard search engine. Instead, it collects information from ticketing databases and search tools, so you can find the best rate. And it integrates that information with its own maps system, so you can easily see if nearby destinations could save you money. We expect to see more innovations like this from the major search providers in the future.