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Google U.S. Government Search  (View post)

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

Thursday, June 15, 2006
13 years ago6,462 views

isn't this a personalised version of this:
google.com/unclesam
????

Ken Kuhl [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

I can certainly see some long-term benefits to this feature for Google.

Wouldn't it be great for Google if it became the trend for all US gov't employees (especially in DC) to have google.com/ig/usgov as their homepage.

Why? Because it would create a sense of loyalty and partnership that would come in handy when it came time to pass laws and make policy decisions that could effect Google (directly or indirectly).

Even though your average senator might not know a web browser from a thumbtack, if all of her staffers had their homepage set to the US Gov't Search page it could definitely make a difference. (Heck, staffers are second only to the special interest groups when it comes to making big important decisions in DC.)

I'm thinking: Smart move on Google's part!

Sohil [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Hmm... Maybe this has something to do with Google's lobbying office in D.C. and it's plan to increase and diversify party contributions (If I'm not mistaken about 99 % of Google Employees contribute to Democrats)

Ken Kuhl [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

Sohil: looks like you're right about past contributions:
opensecrets.org/indivs/search. ...

Gary Price [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

This is also another zing at Microsoft. In February, MS in conjunction with Vivisimo (i think technically it might be the othey way around, not sure)

launched a revamped FirstGovSearch that is in part powered by MSN Search.
  
firstgovsearch.com/

Also available in Spanish:

firstgovsearch.gov/search?v%3a ...

So, in addition to getting results you get the value of Vivisimo's dynamic clusterng (very useful as a knowledge discovery tool) plus direct access to several specialty databases that Vivisimo has merged into the product.

Here's an example:
tinyurl.com/zpmck

Note how you can sort by topic, agency, or source. Also, the preview feature next to each result embeds a LIVE version of the page in the result list.

This result:
tinyurl.com/hqhne
Shows the regular results, clusters, along with direct links to an FAQ database and a database of gov forms. Nice!

I think it's an excellent service and much much much better than what FirstGov used to offer. More here in my February review.
blog.searchenginewatch.com/blo ...

Btw, here in the US (I live in DC, btw) FirstGov portal and search gets some attention already. I think the search service they offer is excellent.

Gary Price [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Two more things. Yes, the results at the new site are identical to the old Uncle Sam site. See:
digbig.com/4jgjd

Second,
Ken, if you;'re looking for the up to the minute FEC database (often with the FULL images (PDF'S) of the actual campaign contribution forms sometimes with extra data, check this advanced interface:

fec.gov/finance/disclosure/adv ...

This is the provider of the data that powers other sites.

Also, although some services are fee-based, FECINFO.com
fecinfo.gov/

offers several free services including an archive of filings and
the ability to search by political action committee (PAC). Again, results offer free and fee-based info. Google does not have a registered PAC but you can find PACS for many companies including Yahoo and MS. The lastest filings on a results page are free.

fecinfo.com/cgi-win/x_pac_init ...

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Gary, correct me if I am wrong.. but was not "Vivisimo" part of the Clusty search ?

Trogdor [PersonRank 6]

13 years ago #

I'm confused ... Google talked in their blog post about how this is a special search engine for gov't websites (so I assume it's more powerful than simply adding /inurl:.gov/ or /site:.gov/ to your queries) ... and then you try it out and it's like a second iGoogle interface. You can have your normal iGoogle (www.google.com/ig), and then your US Gov't iGoogle (www.google.com/ig/usgov). And yet, both seem to have the same kinds of feeds, etc, available (i.e. add gov't feeds to your iGoogle and normal feeds to your US Gov't iGoogle).

I have to wonder, which is it: specialty search engine, or new possibility for one's personalized homepage? Or, is it both?

I do like the idea that US Gov't data ... bought & paid-for by my taxes ... is now more-easily available. If it ain't classified, I say put everything online (within reason of course); I paid for it so damn skippy I want easy access to it.

It's also neat that this's open to users anywhere ... i.e. US citizenship (or geographic location) isn't required. I hope it stays this way, and frankly, I'd like to see this same kind of thing appear for other countries' governments (and, ideally, still available to me).

So I guess I'll start trying these for a while, and we'll see if they ever produce anything:

www.google.com/ig/ukgov
www.google.com/ig/jpgov
www.google.com/ig/augov
www.google.com/ig/cngov (yeah, right!)
www.google.com/ig/frgov
www.google.com/ig/brgov
www.google.com/ig/rugov
...

Ken Kuhl [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

Thanks Gary. Great link.

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