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Chapter 19. E-Services and the Digital D... > PROVIDING DATA: FINDING INFORMATION ...

PROVIDING DATA: FINDING INFORMATION ON PUBLIC SERVICES

The wealth of information available via the Internet is well known as causing difficulties for many users. Search engines have gained in popularity and usage – to the extent that terms such as Google have become verbs in language – reflecting the desires and needs of people to find data, and to require assistance in this. However, the volume of information available can cause information overload and lead to some people feeling that they need direction on where to start looking. Furthermore, one key difficulty even when a likely site has been found is knowing whether the site is a legitimate and trustworthy one, or a potential phishing site or simply a fake site.

With regards to finding relevant information and the appropriate sites, then the semantic web offers opportunities to provide the kind of data that users need. However, there is still some way to go before reliable and standard information is provided – even on public information sites provided by governments. Even when such information is available, a new generation of search engines will be needed to provide access to the semantic information in a way that is accessible to the general public user (Times, 2008). For now, the key feature for the effective use of the mass of information being provided by governments is the education of the public in effective and efficient ways of finding the information that they need.


  

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