‘Google For Government’ Coming Soon?

The Washington Post blog The Trail reports on challenges with implementing the already enacted Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. The Act, passed last year, is intended to provide much more information to "ordinary Americans" regarding federal funding and federally funded projects via a search interface (not Google specifically). According to the blog, however, a number of federal agencies are "dragging their feet on its implementation." An organization supporting the act is calling on US presidential candidates to pledge to accelerate implementation if elected. [...]

Hitwise Launches 2008 Election Metrics Tracking

Hitwise has launched a new data center that will track a range of metrics associated with the upcoming 2008 US election. It will reportedly update those metrics every Tuesday. The categories that will be tracked include the top websites from both parties, top political search terms and the fastest moving political websites, among several others. Beyond general interest and curiosity there's also a potential predictive value to this data, indicating through a show of collective intent who might be most likely to win primaries or the general election. However, one must also be cautious about d [...]

Google Helps States Surface Government Information

Google has announced an initiative with state agencies in Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia to help expose government information to web search engines. Often, government information is stored in database systems that are difficult if not impossible for search engine crawlers to access and index. Google is working with technologists from the state agencies to help surface this invisible or deep web content, using a simple yet elegant approach using the sitemaps protocol, thereby allowing Google or any other search engine to discover and index government information. Search engine crawl [...]

Google Launches Google Patents, Full-Text US Patent Searching

Google has rolled out a new Google Patents search engine (Official Google Blog post here), allowing people to search across the full-text of US patents from 1790 through the middle of 2006. The company plans to update the service further with more 2006 filings and move to a weekly or better refresh schedule in the future. US patents can already be searched by the general public using, among other resources, the search service provided by the US Patent & Trademark Office. So why bother with a new service from Google? "We've really applied the Google experience to it. It's easier so you [...]

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