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Ten Great Government Web Sites

GCN’s list of “great” .gov web sites this year includes GPO’s FDsys.

  • Great .Gov Web Sites SPECIAL REPORT: “10 sites that take online government to the next level” by Joab Jackson, Government Computer News (Jul 27, 2009)

Other sites GCN lists include: data.gov, The California Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Transit.511.org, the U.S. State Department, the State of Utah, and Science.gov.

While the description of FDsys in the GCN article has no new information for those who have been following its development for years, its presence in the list is notable and important for at least two reasons. First, it is the only one of the ten that emphasizes permanence and long term access.

Second, it is revealing to see the technologies that GCN lists for each site. Every site on the list is noted for use of technologies that provide good access and rich content. These include the current batch of usual suspects, from Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight, to RSS and Cascading Style sheets; from Wikipedia and Twitter, to Google keyhole Markup Language and ArcGIS. But only FDsys also includes technologies that are specifically designed for long-term preservation and for authenticating content: The Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System, and “Digital signatures.”

Now if we could just combine that with digital deposit into FDLP libraries, we’d be able to multiply the technical guarantees of long-term free public access to government information by the number of participating FDLP libraries.

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1 Comment

  1. Kyle Stone says:

    I would also love to see a list of government-sector websites that are not maintained by official representatives of the US Government. Here are a few that would make my list:

    LittleSis.org – http://littlesis.org/
    NPR’s Dollar Politics – http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105878862
    GovTrack.us – http://www.govtrack.us/

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