Home/Magazine Archive/January 2003 (Vol. 46, No. 1)/Use of the SAND spatial browser for digital government.../Abstract
Use of the SAND spatial browser for digital government applications
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Numerous federal agencies produce official statistics made accessible to ordinary citizens for searching and data retrieval. This is frequently done via the Internet through a Web browser interface. If this data is presented in textual format, it can often be searched and retrieved by such attributes as topic, responsible agency, keywords, or press release. However, if the data is of spatial nature, for example, in the form of a map, then using text-based queries is often too cumbersome for the intended audience. We describe the use of the SAND Spatial Browser to provide more power to users of these databases by enabling them to define and explore the specific spatial region of interest graphically. The SAND Spatial Browser allows users to form either purely spatial or mixed spatial/nonspatial queries intuitively, which can present information to users that might have been missed if only a textual interface was available.
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