LLRXBuzz – November 6, 2000

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:

Power Industry Database Gets More Power

National Center for Charitable Statistics Gives Giving Information

Get Traffic Information on 28 Cities

Site Offers Statistics on Children

Get Lots of Information from that Zip Code

Have You Changed Your Clocks Yet?

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Power Industry Database Gets More Power

Competitive Analysis Technologies has released “Power Utilities on the Internet” for Q4 2000. It has 2,494 internet web pages and a directory of 16 categories that range from electrical utilities, gas distribution and power brokers to fuel and power pricing and publications of interest to power industry personnel. The site includes 929 electric utility and gas distribution companies worldwide, 719 service and supporting companies, 201 industry associations, 186 worldwide government agencies, 84 publications, and 48 sites with electricity, coal and gas pricing information. The site is updated every 90 days. You can read the announcement press release at http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/001031/tx_competi.html

National Center for Charitable Statistics Gives Giving Information
If you’re interested on knowing where charitable organizations are and what their filings are, http://NCCS.urban.org/index.htm is for you. Just make sure you’ve got the Acrobat reader before you get too deeply into it.

This site contains buckets of information, a list of which you can get at http://NCCS.urban.org/product.htm. The databases include a variety of information from several IRS filings that nonprofit organizations have to submit; profiles broken down by state (with information on charitable organizations in that state and their finances); and fact sheet overviews. The fact sheets contain information like overviews of tax-exempt organizations registered with the IRS, public charities and their finances by state, etc.

If you are clueless about how to make use of all this stuff, be sure to read http://NCCS.urban.org/guide.htm. And be sure to get the Acrobat reader, too; everything I saw was in PDF format. It’d be great if more of this material was searchable online, but it looks like you’ll have to dig a little to get to the good stuff here.

Site Offers Statistics on Children

http://www.childstats.gov/ is the official site of the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, and as such offers a lot of demographics on kids.

The most comprehensive is America’s Kids, which is an overview of the well-being of America’s kids. From the site: “This report presents 23 key indicators of the well-being of children. These indicators are monitored through official Federal statistics covering children’s economic security, health, behavior and social environment, and education. The report also presents data on eight key demographic measures and includes two indicators as special features: children’s knowledge and skills at kindergarten entry and youth participation in volunteer activities.”

The report is huge — the pdf version is over 110 pages long — but non PDF highlights are available at http://www.childstats.gov/ac2000/highlight.asp . The highlight page provides enough information that you can easily decide if it’s worth it to download the report. If you’re only interested in one segment of the report, check out the menu on the left side of this page. You can click on topics, and get extensive background information.

Other information on children in America is available from the publications list at http://www.childstats.gov/otherpub.asp . The America’s Kids report will give you an awful lot to begin with though. Oh, and don’t forget the check out the related sites list at http://www.childstats.gov/related.asp, which provides links to child welfare indicators from all over the Web.

Get Traffic Information on 28 Cities

I’d gotten some enthusiastic recommendations for TrafficStation, but I was having trouble getting to it. I kept getting messages about an “internal server error.” I found another URL, though, and now can recommend http://www.trafficstation.com/home/homepage.html to you.

This page (I think it’s supposed to be framed) gives you the option of choosing one of 28 cities for an instant traffic report — from Atlanta to Washington, DC. Choose a city and you’ll be presented with a map of the metro area. The area is marked based on traffic volume — green for light, red for heavy, different marks for events and police — etc. You can click on a minimap in the upper right hand corner of the page to change the map coverage. (Different cities have different options for changing coverage. Phoenix only has a few options; New York has several.)

You’ll notice that there are tabs at the top of the screen. The first one is Maps; that’s what you’re looking at right now. The second one is called Incident Log. That gives you a list of things that will affect the flow of traffic in the area you’re viewing. (Construction, sporting events, etc.) With some cities there is a third tab: cameras. This presents you with a map covered with cameras. Click on a camera to view that portion of the highway.

If you really like this site, don’t forget to check out the personalized traffic information you can get. This site needs more city information — 28 isn’t all that much – but there are some cool things here, and it’s nicely put together. Worth a look.

Get LOTS of Information from that Zip Code

Want to know how much information you can squeeze out of that zip code? Check out http://zipinfo.com/search/zipcode.htm for starters. You can enter a zip code and request the county name, time zone, area code, latitude/longitude, and more.

Now take that zip code and wander over to http://www.epa.gov/epahome/comm.htm . Enter in the code and you can get a variety of environmental information, including a UV forecast, list of EPA regulated facilities in that zip code, watershed information for that zip code, and more.

Finally, you can get the distance between two zip codes at http://zipfind.net/. You can even get a list of all zip codes with x miles radius of a zip code. For example, I could enter 90210 and get a list of the 157 zip codes within a ten miles’ radius of that zip code.

This obviously only scratches the surface of the kinds of zip code information you can get online, but gives you a few places to start looking. There’s a lot of information you can get from those five little numbers!

Have You Changed Your Clocks Yet?

Did you even have to? If you had to and didn’t, or even if you’re just curious about the time in other parts of the world, check out http://www.worldtimeserver.com. The site is three frames, two of which are content. The left side is a list of countries and major regions inside countries. Click on a country/region on the left side, and the right frame reloads with a map of the world highlighting the country/region and the current time in that country/region. There’s also a link to allow you to calculate some future time for the country/region you’re viewing.

It looks like all frames include the GMT as a point of reference. This is a nice site — fairly fast loading and with a lot of information. Worth a look.

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