LLRXBuzz - February 19, 2001

Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.



In This Issue:

Maptech Announces New "My Maps"

Arkansas Courts Web Site Updated

Lemon Laws Around the Nation

Occupational Safety and Health Information

Researchville.com -- Prefilled Search Engine Queries

Radio Information for the Public Radio Fan

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Maptech Announces New "My Maps"

Maptech has announced a new free feature to MapServer called "My Maps." My Maps is a collection of more than 65,000 maps, including topographic maps, marine charts and aeronautical charts. You can start your map generation at
http://navigator2.maptech.com/homepage/index.cfm?

You're asked to select a location and a state. You don't have to select a city - the search engine also picks up churches, radio towers, airfields, etc. Anyway, select a place name and a state and you'll get a list of locations that match or nearly match ("airfield" picks up Fairfield, for example.)

Click on the place and you'll be presented with a map that you can zoom and scroll around. Once the map is the way you want it, you can put icons on it, e-mail to a friend, or print it.

This site also sells several mapping and map products, including park guides and software, but those items aren't rammed down your throat when you're trying to use the My Maps server. The site's worth a look.

Arkansas Courts Web Site Updated

A newly updated Arkansas Courts Web site has been announced by the Arkansas Judiciary and the Information Network of Arkansas. The site is located at http://courts.state.ar.us. New features include online searching of databases, information about the courts and court forms, and the Judicial Directory and the House Style Guide.

The search links are on the right side of the front page and include Appellate Court dockets, Supreme Court opinions, Court of Appeals opinions, and Licensed Attorney search. The site also includes court forms (in HTML, WordPerfect, or PDF), links to various Arkansas legal resources, and a Judicial Directory (in PDF format.)

Lemon Laws Around the Nation

If your car's a clinker, check out Lemon Law America at http://www.lemonlawamerica.com/. This site lists the lemon laws for all states. There's what appears to be a clickable image map on the front page, but it didn't work for me. Instead I chose the clickable letters on the front page.

A few of the statue listings, like North Dakota's, have summaries of the law. Other ones have just the statutes. Others have definitions preceding the statutes. In addition to law, this site also has news aboutdifferent types of lemons (like lemon computers), a short link list, and some "lemon tips" should you find yourself with a less than stellar car.

Occupational Safety and Health Information

OSH.net -- http://www.osh.net/-- is a searchable sorta-subject index of occupational safety and health information links. The front page lists the several categories of links. Clicking on one of the categories takes you to a subcategory listing. In many of these subcategories, the listing is on the left, while the full listing of the directory -- in outline form -- is on the right. I found this a tad confusing.

Some of the subcategory links are better annotated than others. Some links aren't annotated at all. There are what appear to be paid ads (complete with banner ads) interspersed throughout the listings. The search engine is a third-party addition to the site (powered by FreeFind) but appears to work pretty well. A search for OSHA found 116 links.

In addition to the link directory, this site has a (short) feature article list. (The articles are from the OSH.net newsletter. Get the newsletter archives at http://www.listbot.com/cgi-bin/subscriber?Act=view_archive&list_id=OSHNET) There's also a monthly OSH basics article in a separate section and a health and safety employment link list (separate from the subject index.)

Researchville.com -- Prefilled Search Engine Queries

It's sort of like a meta-search engine, but not. Researchville.com (http://www.researchville.com) gives you a box to enter a query, then lets you choose a search engine -- or several search engines. For example, say you wanted to search today's news for flapjack. Enter flapjack in the query box and at the bottom of the Today's News category, choose "open all links in 6 New Windows." Six windows will open up, with six news search engines' results for the query term flapjack.

The site has several categories, including multimedia, news, and reference. If you have cookies enabled you can save queries as "favorites" to come back to again (Researchville.com says it collects no personal information.)

I have seen sites do something like this before, but it was generally only for one type of information -- stock and financial information, for example. It's an interesting idea but one that will take some getting used to. I would love to see the number of sites and categories expanded, as well.

Radio Information for the Public Radio Fan

If you're a public radio fan, don't miss http://www.Publicradiofan.com/. While the tiny font is a little hard on these old eyes, there's a lot of content here. You can get a listing of what's on now, or get listings by time, program, or station. Station names are highlighted. I'm not clear on this but it looks like the highlight color indicates the country of origin of the station, making it quick to find listings from different countries. (This site also has station guides available if you're looking for stations from certain countries.)

There doesn't appear to be a search engine for the site, which is unfortunate, but there's plenty to see here if you're willing to browse. Worth a look.