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GPO’s “Google”?

A Washington Times article about FDsys describes it as GPO’s “Google” for Federal Documents:

Web users could just as easily use Google or other search engines to find government information, but FDsys assures access to the original, authentic versions of government documents.

I am amused by the comments posted to this article so far:

Why would you call this “Google” for documents, unless you are simply try to get web hits by using the google name. I went to the site and it is not immediately clear where in tarnation to find anything. I’m 38, computer literate and immediately find the site unappealing, and definitely not user friendly. The genius of google is it’s simplicity. The GPO site is just like the GPO building itself Old, archaic, and difficult to navigate. I suppose if I was in the business of publishing paper copies, I wouldn’t want people finding things easily online either.

Perhaps a government documents librarian could help you navigate it? 😉

$20 million, five years, and it’s still not as good as Google – classic government work.
Why didn’t they just give the docs to Google and let them do it?

Because Google would mess it up even worse. Look at Google Books and how they block full access to public domain government documents! Sigh…why did the article have to mention Google?

I found the search engine very easy to use and very powerful — apparently it’s metadata-aware, so it can do much more sophisticated searches than Google allows. It also looks like they built in a nice drilldown feature that lets you find what you’re looking for when you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Glad this user noticed that. And my favorite quote:

It’s a good start at providing information to interested citizens.
The information overload will be intense.

Yes, it is a good start. But the info overload is already intense!

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