"KartOO is a metasearch engine with visual display interfaces." The side was available till September 2017 but offers no search since 2010 (as of Wikipedia).

Language English

Launched April 25th, 2002
Closed 2010

Developer Laurent and Nicolas Baleydier

Country of Origin France

2002 - 2010 Kartoo.S.A.

Topic Universal


Technical functionalities
Meta search engine
Visual results SeEn
Semantic search

Used SeEn Voila
Alltheweb (FAST)
MSN Search
La Toile du Québec

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Sherman, Chris (Mar 22, 2005): »If you like the idea of seeing your web results visually, this meta search site shows the results with sites being interconnected by keywords. Honorable mention for Best Meta Search Engine award from Search Engine Watch in 2002.« Source

Sergi Mínguez y Juan C. Dürsteler (2009): »Co-founded in France in 2001, the company launched in 2002, KartOO a meta search engine implemented in Flash that provides a visual interface to explore the results. Once you enter a new search you come up with a "map" instead of a list. This map visualises the results as entities and relevant words as relationships. Web sites are represented with a low resolution snapshot of the site and the URL. Moreover, the size is used as a visual attribute to map the relevance of the site in the query [...]. Relevant words are also used to relate different results displayed in the map, and furthermore, to add the possibility to redefine the search adding the word to the initial query. The same relational information produces level curves using the landscape metaphor you can find in cartographical maps. The tool uses enclosure as a way to enable the user to see what the relations are between objects more clearly than with links or patches. Rich interaction engages the user in the search process providing exploration. Thus, it appears to be a good solution for informational tasks. The image shows the map generated in response to the query Madonna. The home of the artist has the biggest size, with Wikipedia and MTV following. As relevant words we could find news, music, ringtones or premieres. Notice that relevant words show the intention of the user more than displaying the results hidden behind them. For example, if the user continues the search adding music it is because he is carrying out an informational search, however if the user adds downloads, this is because the intention of the user is to perform a transactional task. « Source

Juan C. Dürsteler (2009): »As in any search engine you find a command line waiting for you typing the query you are interested in. Once you click on OK, KartOO launches the query to a set of search engines, gathers the results, compiles them and represents them in a series of interactive maps through a proprietary algorithm. The graphic presentation shows the 10 (or the number you choose) first results as balls, its size being proportional to the relative relevance. When you hover on top of the ball, a short description returned by the link is shown. If you want to see more results, another map appears just by clicking on the appropriate link, as in any typical search engine. What makes KartOO interesting is that it elaborates the so called semantic links between results. Those links are represented by sinuous lines that link the balls. Amidst said lines you find a word that is the one the algorithm considers that links both results semantically. By hovering on top of it you can highlight the related balls. When hovering over the ball you can see all its related semantic links highlighted. Curiously enough, there aren’t links among the successive maps you can ask for.« Source


Critical points

Features & Functionality


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):
Wikipedia (Others): n.a.

Other Sources

Peter Smith (2007): Do Alternative Search Engines Measure Up? In: Computerworld URL:
Juan C. Dürsteler (2009): KartOO URL:
Sergi Mínguez y Juan C. Dürsteler (2009): Visual Search Engines URL:
Metamend: Kartoo Web Site Optimization Information URL:

Created: 2013-01-22