by Ed Swires-Hennessy, Local Government Data Unit - Wales
Ed continues his appraisals of different national Web Sites to stimulate use of the Internet, share best practice and encourage debate.
For this month, a little further East to Israel (http://www.cbs.gov.il/engindex.htm) that was
last reviewed in March 1999. For simplicity I used the same URL as for the last review (http://www.cbs.gov.il/nashim/enashim1.htm)
but this took me to a page especially created for a Womens Day event in 1998! The
majority of the home page is well laid out and easy to understand and access: the creators
have, however, succumbed to the recent trend to add exciting graphics and
there was a flashing New and a rotation of information under the Major
indicators heading. Sticking with the simple layout would be better for the user and
that could include the latest three Major indicators in a hyperlinked list.
Navigation from this front page is either by blue or black hyperlinked text not all of
which has roll-over characteristics. The roll-overs from the main list produce blue text
descriptors which suggest hyperlinks but not so.
Choosing Selected data I was expecting to
find a set of static tables. Much work has gone into this site since the last review and
the selected data is now user-defined extracts from time series in databases. The extracts
can be easily and quickly downloaded via CSV format into Excel. Data delivered may need a little formatting before
final presentation, depending on the pre-set options in Excel. Labour Force Data
from the home page follows a similar route to time series, though the user could be helped
a little by a little more thought on the table titles: going for Average Wages (first on
the list), one is presented by a double list by industry, interspersed averages and
indices with much repeated text. The same indices appear 7th in the list
duplication. One must be able to design out the duplicated words Index of wages per
employee post especially as the heading is more precise, adding monthly.
The new Energy balance produces some data
in HTML tables but the data are centred in the columns. A small problem is also
apparent with the navigation at the foot of the tables in this section it takes one
back to the first of the energy screens (selecting
language) and not to the selection of parts. The bottom navigation on the first screen is
only in Hebrew: following the Home symbol takes one to the Hebrew home page.
Statisti-light, on the left hand menu of the front
page, are PDF short reports on various topics presented for the average user and not the
specialist. Nevertheless, the interspersing of charts amongst the text and the
absence of tables of data makes for interesting reading. For those who just want
data or more charts, the Statistical Abstract is accessed from the graphic on the home
page. Some of the charts are quite difficult to interpret but the tables are
well-presented. In the Tables section, one can access a couple of maps and the main
map page had links and graphics missing.
This site has much to commend it: good basic data and
presentation of important issues, parameter driven time series display and full access to
the Abstract. Most users would easily find what they require.
review was undertaken using Internet Explorer version 5.50 on 1 July at 18.00 hrs GMT
using a 2 Mbit link to the Internet on a Pentium III 866 MHz machine.
This review was undertaken using Internet Explorer version 5.50 on 1 July at 18.00 hrs GMT using a 2 Mbit link to the Internet on a Pentium III 866 MHz machine.
Please send and comments and suggestions for sites to review to