April 12, 2009

Government Web Site Widgets

I just had two great librarians talk to my reference class, and I learned as much as the students did about government documents work and GIS / geography sources. Thanks to UConn's undergraduate and GIS librarian Michael Howser and Connecticut's federal documents librarian Nancy Peluso!

Nancy showed a fabulous feature of usa.gov, the US government's search engine. A search for the word widgets yields some amazing widgets, free for use on any web site.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has many widgets, including an FDA peanut recall widget, a National Flu Activity map, and a Daily Health tip (today's is a warning not to give birds as gifts):
CDC Everyday Health Widget. Flash Player 9 is required.

This is also available in Spanish:
Widget de Salud al día. Flash Player 9 esta necesario.

Other cool widgets that come up include:
  • San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District "BART" News Widget
  • AmeriCorps widgets
  • Business.gov Gadgets; their widget includes a search box and links to information helpful to small businesses.
  • FDA Drug Information links, including widgets for drug safety information, Medwatch, FDA podcasts, and Drugs @ FDA

... search for, oh, say, Wellbutrin & see what kind of information you get.

Take a peek at the search, too -- the results page offers a nifty preview option, displaying the widget right in the results page, and a "Remix" option on the left which lets you narrow results by topic, agency, or source.

There are some great free web resources here for libraries, health marketers, and others.

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