The proposed treasure hunt will take place in early June. No registration is required. Just follow the instructions on this web site and submit your results to the email address given below. NIST will provide a (vetted) list of 10 information requests concerning travel information that not only have an answer on the web, but allow a variety of different scenarios to locate these answers (see the example below). The wealth of travel-related data on the Internet testifies to general interest in this sort of search, which by its nature is often cross-cultural. Interested groups have two weeks to find this information, and can tackle some or all of the requests. Although much of the travel data is relatively stable, the two-week limit will, we hope, reduce the dependence of results on changes in the data being searched.
The purpose of this treasure hunt is not mainly to find the information or show off your WWW search talents, but to honestly and objectively record the significant steps you took in getting to this information. We are hoping for a wide variety of independent approaches to make for lively discussion and valuable insights. Therefore each group will be asked to send NIST some brief writeups: bulleted lists of main steps with approximately the level of detail and in about the format shown in the examples below. These will be shared via this web page.
The panel itself will be a one-hour summary of what happened, including a presentation of the most interesting results and some thoughts about possible tools - all interspersed with audience discussion of the various issues raised by the treasure hunt. Even if you can't be at SIGIR'98 in Australia this year, your searches can!