Project was made in-house and will elicit better results than previous model
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/04/2012 -- A new search engine was unveiled by Congress that is said to help politicos, researchers, students, and all interested parties who want to find legislation currently working through the House and Senate.
Congress.gov is a beta and is slated to replace THOMAS legislative search system once fine-tuning is completed over the next twelve months.
The site is more akin to Google than was previous models. The engine filters out searches like shopping sites and other superfluous internet fluff when one is seeking legislation. It can narrow searches by year, subject, and by the House or Senate bills.
Congress.gov is mobile friendly as well, which is welcome news to the many Capitol Hill staffers who rely so heavily on their Blackberries and mobile devices.
The engine is the first attempt since THOMAS to create a quality engine geared toward legislation-related searches. THOMAS receives over 10 million hits each year; However, the library found many who were not directly involved in legislation had no idea about the engine. The engine as a whole was also highly outdated and essentially required working knowledge of its format to navigate properly.
Library technicians and legislative experts helped build the more intuitive engine. It was created fully in-house with open source technology. The new engine offers bill identification, status, and holds biographical profiles on legislative histories for each member of Congress.
Web addresses for searches on Congress.gov will be standardized, shared, and will be permanent. This allows e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter sharing of the engine’s links.
The library hopes to have full congressional records on every word spoken by senators and representatives in congressional debates by January.
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