Virginia/Google partnership

Virginia and Google announce partnership to improve citizen access to digital government
Richmond.comTuesday, May 01, 2007

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced Monday a first-of-its-kind partnership between Virginia and Google Inc. that makes it easier for citizens to search and find relevant Web-based information and services on Virginia's state government Web sites. State webmasters, and Google staff have worked together since January to implement a Sitemap protocol, a standard that enables a Web site owner to better communicate the contents of a site to search engines so that more pages on the Web site are searchable. Virginia has also upgraded the search tool on the state portal to encompass the full range of government information citizens may be seeking. Using the Google Custom service, Virginia now provides visitors to the ability to search for information from all sectors of government, whether provided by a federal, state, or local government source. Google has assisted state officials in implementing these Web site improvements at no cost. The states of Arizona, California and Utah also have partnered with Google in this pilot initiative. Almost 80,000 URLs from 27 domains have already been added to the Google search engine through the initiative and that number will continue to increase as others in state government join the project. The net result of the Google initiative is an increased ability for a citizen in need of service or information to quickly and intuitively find that information, even and especially if the citizen doesn't know which agency provides it. Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra secured a wide range of state agency participation in the Virginia pilot program on behalf of the Governor. The agencies represented in the pilot provide a wide range of services and information of value to citizens across the state. Virginia participants in the Google pilot program include: The Office of the Governor; Office of the Lt. Governor; Va. Information Technologies Agency; Governor's Office for Substance Abuse Prevention; Auditor of Public Accounts; Council on Virginia's Future; eVa (the state's electronic procurement system); Library of Virginia; Va. Assistive Technology System; Va. Board for People with Disabilities; Va. Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired; Va. Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; Va. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; Va. Department of Health Professions; Va. Department of Emergency Management; Va. Department of General Services; Va. Department of Environmental Quality; Va. Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services; Va. Department of Accounts; Va. Department of Forestry; Va. Department of Social Services; Va. Department of Labor and Industry; and Va. Tourism.
--The preceding was compiled from a news release from Gov. Kaine's office.

See related editorial from the Culpeper Star Exponent