States work with Google to make data accessible

Four states ' Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia ' are partnering with Google Inc. to make it easier to search their Web sites, the search engine company announced today.

Both Google and officials with the four states agree that people are increasingly turning to search engines such as Google and Yahoo to find government information. And much of the information on state Web sites has previously been hard to find via search engines.

As a result, technology managers at the four states have increased the amount of state information that is accessible through a Google search.

For example, job seekers can now search for employment in Utah and find jobs posted by the state's Workforce Services Department. The Library of Virginia, the state's archive, will let searchers mine the archives more deeply. California agencies are opening up their databases to search engine users. And a search for real estate professionals in Arizona will offer a direct link to records in the state's Department of Real Estate's database of licensed agents.

'Our partnership with Google will empower Californians to know more about our government and provide better access to services and helpful information,' said California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Virginia's Gov. Tim Kaine called transparent digital government 'a top priority in Virginia. Our goal is to provide easy, quick and intuitive citizen access to every government resource. Google is helping us to achieve it.'

Virginia and Utah also are now using the Google Custom Search Engine service, which lets visitors to Virginia.gov and Utah.gov search for information from all levels of government, whether federal, state or local.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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