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:
The Latest on Legal Research
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Our tour of United States’ Web sites continues, this week with Delaware through Indiana.
Delaware. Small state, big ol’ Web site. They’ve got a Yahooesque business portal (administered by Yahoo?) at http://www.delaware.gov/yahoo/Business. (Back up to http://www.delaware.gov/yahoo/ to get all the listings.) Seeing services laid out in a familiar category/subcategory makes them a lot easier to navigate. Legal researchers will appreciate the bill tracking available from http://www.legis.state.de.us/.
There’s also a large collection of photographs and maps of Delaware at http://www.udel.edu/dgs/carto.html . This site contains such goodies as a database of aerial photography and maps, and a collection of digital data
(Digital Line Graphs, Digital Elevation Models, etc.) for the entire state.
And if you’re interested in what’s going on RIGHT NOW, the Delaware State Police home page (http://www.state.de.us/dsp ) has an online 911 scanner you can listen to.
Florida – http://www.state.fl.us/
Maybe it’s the time of year, but Florida has a prominent link for hurricane and storm information (that page, at http://www.dca.state.fl.us/bpr/EMTOOLS/Hurricanes/hurrwtch.htm, has information on hurricane preparedness, weather reports, and a tropical weather outlook from the National Hurricane Center that’s updated four times a day.) The rest of the page has categories and quick topics on the left, links on the right, and news and updates in the middle. The governor isn’t even mentioned until the bottom of the page!
The state’s legislative site, at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Welcome/index.cfm, features a search engine for 2002 Senate Bill Text, 2002 Senate Daily Journals (in PDF format), and the 2000 Florida Statutes at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm.
Over at http://www.sunbiz.org/, there are several business search databases, including for corporations, trademarks, and partnerships. Lots of business information here.
Georgia – http://www.state.ga.us/
Georgia’s home page gets my “argh” award for being completely unnavigable without loading images. (I usually surf with images turned off, as it lets me go faster.)
Still, there’s some good stuff here. There’s a corporate record search at
http://www.ganet.org/services/corp/corpsearch.shtml. (Individual record search is free online; multiple records can be purchased by credit card.)
There’s also a search engine for the Georgia Code at http://www.ganet.org/services/ocode/ocgsearch.htm, which is searchable by either keyword or code number. If you’re got business with the state, Georgia provides a list of e-commerce and other online applications at http://www.ganet.org/services/ocode/ocgsearch.htm.
One thing I don’t get. The front page of the Georgia state site, with graphics turned off, was a mess. All the other pages I looked at, however, were extremely text-friendly. What the heck?
Hawaii – http://www.state.hi.us/
Hawaii doesn’t worry too much about micro-categorizing their materials; instead they have an online services page that’s very useful.
There’s a complaints database at http://www.ehawaiigov.org/serv/rico, that’s searchable by name. I found complaint listings going back to 1985. If you need to discover the name of a business in Hawaii, you can use the business name search at http://www.ehawaiigov.org/DCCA/biz-name/. (The search form is the same as the complaint search form.)
The All About Hawaii page (http://www.ehawaiigov.org/abouthi/html/index.html) is an interesting read. Information available here includes health and vital statistics, language, and quick facts and figures. There’s also a link to the Hawaii state archives at http://www.state.hi.us/dags/archives/.
Idaho – http://www.state.id.us/
What I know about Idaho you could carve on a neutron with a number-ten nail, but this site makes it easy to get up to speed. Recent additions and news about the site is in the middle of the page.
If you want a virtual tour of Idaho, check out the Idaho State Historical Society’s page at http://www2.state.id.us/ishs/index.html. You’ll find a tour of the Oregon Trail in Idaho and a lot of indexes to genealogically useful information (cemetery indexes, publication indexes, vital records information, etc.)
For the legislation lover in you, there’s http://www.state.id.us/legislation/. This site includes a search for either the Idaho Statutes or the Idaho Constitution or both. There’s also a nicely-done index to Idaho legal periodicals at http://www2.state.id.us/lawlib/periodcl.htm, part of Idaho’s law library.
Illinois – http://www.state.il.us/
Lot of content here, but I like the layout. And the headlines are dated; nicely done.
Illinois has a ton of census information available at http://www.state.il.us/2000census/. There are state maps demographic data, census profiles (in PDF format) and even a PowerPoint presentation. This dovetails nicely with the Illinois facts page at http://www.state.il.us/state/facts/ (hey, North Carolina and Illinois have the same state bird!)
The Illinois Federal Clearinghouse at http://www.state.il.us/state/fedclear/ is an
interesting site, providing information on Federal grant opportunities, foundation listings, state and federal contact lists (in PDF format) and a bevy of reports and publications, including Key Economic Indicators for Illinois.
Indiana – http://www.state.in.us/
Ah, Indiana. Home of the ever-excellent Eiteljorg Museum. Though that isn’t mentioned on the site’s front page, plenty of other stuff is.
Bill information for the General Assembly is available at http://www.state.in.us/serv/lsa_billinfo. You may search by bill number or by keyword. There’s also a subject listing, a list of resolutions, and other legislation information on this page. If you’re interested in the Indiana code, you can search it at http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/search.html.
The featured sites part of the Indiana state site (http://www.state.in.us/ai/featured) is very interesting, offering goodies like a search for local mental health providers, the DNR Fishing Report, and a catalog of state forms.
Join us next week, when we cruise from Iowa to Massachusetts. Happy searching!