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Overview: Mining the Federal Web

By Barbara J. Saffir
Special to

It's relatively easy to find government information on the Internet if you know the name of the federal agency that supplies it. Most people use a directory to find the agency's Web address, because there is no standard naming system for Web addresses, or URLs (uniform resource locators).

If the material you're seeking is not listed on the main home page, try the site's search engine. Search engines differ from site to site, so be patient.

No one Web site lists every federal Web address. If you can't find the site listed in's Federal Internet Guide, try one of the meta-sites (Web sites that contain lists of related sites) listed below. They include government and academic sites and feature a variety of search engines.

To research the operation or history of the World Wide Web, see the list of sites at the bottom of this page.

Government Meta-Sites

Web Operations and History

  • CERN: European Laboratory for Particle Physics. The birthplace of the World Wide Web.
  • DARPA: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The agency that created the Internet.
  • Federal Webmasters Forum: A forum for federal workers who maintain official Web sites.
  • Government Information Technology Services: Formed to make "electronic government" a reality.
  • GSA's Caucus: Online caucuses, including the Webmaster. Requires registration.
  • Hobbes' Internet Timeline: Highlights key events that helped shape the Internet as we know it today.
  • Informational Technology OnRamp: Maintained by GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy and featuring the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council and others.
  • World Wide Web Consortium: Founded in 1994 to develop common protocols for the evolution of the World Wide Web, the W3C is an international industry consortium.
  • World Wide Web Federal Consortium: A leader in federal Web technologies that recognizes Web implementations as a beneficial way for the federal government to conduct business.
  • InterNIC : A joint venture of the National Science Foundation, Network Solutions, Inc. and AT&T, InterNIC hosts directories, tools and domain registration services for the Internet.

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