More data geekery

Earlier this week I wrote about a few of my favorite geeky apps that explore the way we tell time. Today, in honor of a sunny Friday (at least here in South Bend, Indiana), I want to introduce you to some more wonderful apps that will satisfy your inner geek.

The Wolfram|Alpha web site is a computational engine. Type in something you need to calculate or know about, and the engine parses your entry to figure out what you’re looking for. (For example, you could type in, “How many feet in a mile?” or “Number of feet in a mile,” and it will understand these two queries seek the same thing.) Wolfram|Alpha has been kind enough to create a whole series of mobile apps—available across most current platforms. In addition to front-end apps for the Wolfram|Alpha computational engine, there are apps for particular tasks or fields. For example, there are course assistant apps to help your kids with their chemistry or calculus. There are also reference apps with data on planets, tides, or gaming odds.

If you are a network administrator or an attorney, Wolfram|Alpha has an app for you as well. There are also personal interest apps like genealogy. Really, there are so many apps that it’s worth your while to review the offerings.

What I love about these apps is simple: the amount of information they bring (literally) to your fingertips. Type in the name of a spacecraft, and you’ll see its orbit path over the earth.

Click to enlarge

Need data on unemployment rates in particular cities? The app will get it without even breaking a sweat.

Click to make big

The apps range in price from $.99 to $4.99. For the money, you can’t find a better resource for, well, everything. You could spend hours and hours just asking questions of the app and watching what comes back. Download an app or two and make your inner geek happy. You’ll be glad you did.


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