Surfing with Ed on the Internet ...

by Ed Swires-Hennessy, Welsh Office

Ed continues his appraisals of different national Web Sites to stimulate use of the Internet, share best practice and encourage debate.

This month we visit Hungary ( http://www.ksh.hu/ ). This site open in Hungarian but the first link visible was the language switch to English. The front page took around a minute in off-peak time to load because of the many (small) gifs within it but the transition to English was practically instantaneous. However, all the front page fitted within the one screen - a very desirable feature! And not only were all the elements of the page present, contacts for information and for the site were hypertext linked at the foot of the page. Some pages took a little time (half a minute) to download and it is obvious that the overall information provision is still being developed.

For the free information, the site offers both the standard ‘Hungary in Figures’ as well as a section on major annual figures. The former has a relatively large GIF showing the map of Hungary with its neighbours and links to the chunks of data available. The philosophy is well applied but some problems currently exist with the links: all the data was accessible through the ‘Dwellings’ link. The major annual figures offered selected years back to 1980 to enable some long term trends to be derived. As with the Dutch, Australian and Canadian sites, this one offered data for the most recent year, i.e. 1997 - even if some of the data were provisional.

The ‘Press releases’ and ‘Publication and periodical’ sections were fairly basic and still being developed but offered purchase of the books through the web.

As with the majority of National Statistical Institute sites, this one offers access to the main databank of the organisation: here, one has to pay, so I did not try the access and retrieval.

P.S. 1: The Dutch site ( http://www.cbs.nl/ ), reviewed in February, has just been revamped and the decision recently taken to allow full access to their on-line databank free to all via the Internet. However, if you do not speak Dutch, you will have to wait until around the end of 1998 to be able to use the full English language version.

P.S. 2: The Webmasters of the ONS and GSS sites, reviewed in May, positively welcome comments and suggestions. And don’t forget that the GSS site is ready willing and able to accept key data and news items for publication on the Web. This latter may be as brief as a reference to the fact that data has been put onto your own site with a hypertext link to the new data. E-mail: ONS daniel.trent@ons.gov.uk
GSS marian.cooney@ons.gov.uk 

Suggestions of interesting sites or interesting features found at statistical sites should be sent to me at Ed.Swires-Hennessy@Wales.gsi.gov.uk or by snail mail to National Assembly for Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ.

Happy surfing....