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 Sweden ( http://www.scb.se/ ), another site which offers a great deal of English for those whose Swedish is rusty. The home page gave a practically instant response and very clearly gave the list of the latest press releases but with a difference: each had a key figure alongside the title of the press notice with a brief description.

Apart from the latest statistics, their brief guide to Sweden in Figures 1998 provides up-to-date data (up to December 1997 for the population data) together with some international comparisons. Apart from the Web structured booklet, a great deal of summary information is available (data and well presented charts) by topic and can be printed - but not used in cut and paste mode. The database with much fuller detail is accessible only on subscription and can return data in standard formats as well as in PC-Axis format (a standard developed by Statistics Sweden).

Links to ‘Other Statistical Sources’ is a good example of how to help browsers find the information they require by thinking logically and like a browser!

The meta-information in the table of contents (T.O.C.) is well organised, hierarchically structured, and provides easy access to information on products, data and services. The site is simple to navigate and would serve as a model for any organisation.

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....