Google joins 4 states to organize public information

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Google Inc. announced it has teamed up with Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia to simplify search for hard-to-find public information on state government Web sites.

Google and state officials realized the public was using search engines to access government services. But a share of the information on state agency Web sites does not include indexes of information sources on the Web.

Many online government services, therefore, can be hard to find.

Eric Schmidt, chairman/CEO of Google, said the goal was to connect citizens with their state governments by offering the public better access to public-sector information and services.

The company's broader goal is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

To improve access to state agency sites, technology managers all four states increased the amount of state information accessible through a Google search.

Job seekers in Utah, for example, can search on Google for employment in the state and find job postings listed by the state's Department of Workforce Services.

In Virginia, searchers interested in the region's colonial history can find a greater variety of resources provided by the commonwealth's archive at the Library of Virginia.

Looking up information on education and health services in California is now simpler, too, as agencies in the state have opened their databases to searchers.

Arizona homebuyers can search for real estate professionals and records in the Department of Real Estate's database of licensed agents.

The four states have also upgraded the search tool offered on some of their agency sites to encompass the full range of government information a citizen may be seeking.

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