Thursday, February 24, 2005


Google movie operator - problems with its implementation

Google has introduced a movie: operator which serves two quite distinct purposes:
As we have unfortunately come to expect with these things, the locality informations only works for US localities, even if you use the operator at one of Google's international sites.

To access the location search you use the syntax "movie:90210" or "movie:Seattle" in your query, whereas to get movies about a certain subject you use the syntax "movie:kong". I'm sure you can spot the problem here - by using the same syntax for two distinct features the service has to guess what you meant, and quite frankly gets it wrong.

Many seasoned travellers, and even just the curious want to know what movies were set in a particular geographical location. I've not found how you find movies about Seattle, nor featuring the starts from TV's 90210. (You can find the obvious Seattle movie by using the search movie:"in seattle", and in fact the use of "in" is quite a good modifier for other places, but will miss a lot of references that mention the place but do not include the word "in").

From another international angle, it would be good if the operator "film:" was recognised as a synonym for "movie:".

Update: If you do "movie:seattle a" then the "a" is a stopword, so is ignored, but does cause the logic to treat this as a subject query, rather than a location query.

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