Wolfram|Alpha Gets Fun New Interactive Front Page

July 9, 2012
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The Wolfram|Alpha Team
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The Wolfram|Alpha front page has “gone back to the drawing board!” We are excited to unveil the redesigned Wolfram|Alpha front page, filled with interactive, hand-drawn sketches that offer a brand new way to interact and learn with Wolfram|Alpha.

Front page sketches

We’ve gone through our Examples page and illustrated some of our favorite queries to provide our users with a brand new way to experience Wolfram|Alpha and learn interesting facts. Each of the nearly 300 custom sketches refers to just one example taken from Wolfram|Alpha’s vast knowledge base, and clicking one will take you directly to a corresponding results page. This not only allows visitors to easily explore a wide variety of knowledge, but it also acts as an interactive starting point for those looking to learn more about the answers Wolfram|Alpha can provide.

A few months ago, “flights overhead” became one of our most popular queries, highlighting the power of Wolfram|Alpha when it comes to answering questions about transportation. From the new front page, users can learn even more about their favorite modes of transportation, with sketches representing the top speed of a Boeing 747, how may calories are burned after cycling for 50 miles at 17 miles per hour, and even the price of gasoline in different locations.

Airplane BikeGasoline

Or say you came to Wolfram|Alpha for help with your math homework. By looking through the sketches, you may notice the drawing of H2SO4, a beaker (which directs to “0.4 molar potassium hydroxide”), the compound structure of vanillin, and a strand of DNA, then learn that Wolfram|Alpha is also a great resource for chemistry and biology homework.

H2SO4DNABeakerCompound

Maybe Wolfram|Alpha is your source for stock data and socioeconomic information, and you are eager to understand more ways Wolfram|Alpha can help answer your daily professional and personal questions. Located throughout the new front page are sketches that lead to our comprehensive relocation calculator functionality, data about currency and conversion rates, a tip calculator, and queries about US inflation.

Dollar sign Tip calculator Money

Or maybe you are a teacher who already uses Wolfram|Alpha as a math tool, but is looking for a new way to get students excited about astronomy. Have them search the new front page for sketches related to space, and they will find multiple queries showcasing Wolfram|Alpha’s expansive astronomical data. One such sketch is the International Space Station, and clicking it will bring up its exact location, as well as data on orbital altitude, average orbit velocity, and orbital period. International Space Station

Other sketches lead to the orbital position of the Hubble Space Telescope, mass comparisons between planets, information about constellations, dates of shuttle launches, and more. These queries are just the beginning of what students can learn from using Wolfram|Alpha and how teachers can use it in almost any subject area. The new front page can be used as a starting point for engaging students and developing exciting lesson plans.

Hubble TelescopePlanet

Hidden throughout the new front page are also some familiar faces, including a particularly iconic mustache.

Tom Selleck

For those of you who have chosen one of our customized background designs for the front page, the sketches will not show up automatically. To make the switch, click “Settings” in the top right of the window and choose the new interactive illustrations design.

In the era of information overload, sometimes a simple image can be the path to learning something new. Each sketch leads to a whole new domain of knowledge to explore and experiment with. We really hope you enjoy our new front page and encourage you to explore, learn, and share your favorite sketch with us!

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