Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beta Congress... as in a beta of the new, prettier and easier, Library of Congress site

Open Search News - Library of Congress Unveils New Congress Web Site

"Just recently, the Library of Congress launched the beta version of that aims to help users easily find bills going through the legislative process. This is the first ever search engine upgrade since THOMAS was unveiled in 1995. The article “Congress launches new search engine” gives us more details about it:


Inside Bay Area - Congress launches new search engine

"WASHINGTON -- Congress unveiled a new search engine Wednesday to help politicos, lobbyists, researchers, students and any other interested citizens find legislation working its way through the House and Senate to become new laws.

The Library of Congress says the new website is in beta form and will eventually replace the THOMAS legislative search system after a year of fine-tuning the new system.

The new site is more like Google (GOOG), with one box to search all data. It can filter search results like a shopping site with categories of merchandise. In this case, it can narrow search results by year, by subject, by House or Senate or other factors. also is mobile-friendly for Capitol Hill staffers glued to their Blackberries. It was built with responsive design technology to automatically rearrange a search screen to fit on a smartphone.

This is Congress' first new search engine since THOMAS was launched in 1995 after just three weeks of development when the Internet was in its infancy.

"It's like comparing a tricycle to a Cadillac," said Jim Karamanis, the library's chief of web services, before a test drive of the new site. "The web was not very advanced" when THOMAS was created.




A much prettier LOC site... If you need info on what Congress is doing, this better looking site might help you there (or not... :/ )

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