Google Unveils New Tool To Dig for Public Data
Google launched a new search tool yesterday designed to help Web users find public data that is often buried in hard-to-navigate government Web sites.
The tool, called Google Public Data, is the latest in the company’s efforts to make information from federal, state and local governments accessible to citizens.
. . . The E-Government Act of 2002 required government agencies to make information more accessible electronically, but users have complained that many agencies do not organize their Web sites so they can be easily indexed by search engines. And some agencies, Google has said, embed codes in their sites that make certain pages invisible to search engines.
“Information from government sources has been one of the thornier areas,” said David Girouard, president of Google Enterprise, which includes the federal team. The new tool “is taking data, reformatting it so it’s immediately consumable . . . so people don’t have to go through rows and rows of data.”