New California Web Portal Enhances Access to State Government

State Technology Update - June 2, 2010

State Chief Information Officer Teri Takai today launched California’s newly redesigned Web portal, CA.gov. With enhanced search capabilities, the new portal makes services and information easier than ever to find through an improved, easy-to-navigate, interactive design. The portal includes an updated public data site with more than 100 million records available for custom “mashup” applications, a mobile site with more than 20 applications designed for smart phones and searchable maps with data on thousands of state government facilities including field offices, state parks, public schools, universities, libraries and more.

“To make government more transparent and responsive to the people of our state, Governor Schwarzenegger is committed to making California’s web site the best in the nation,” said Takai. “With improved navigation and functionality, the new portal design enhances the user’s experience to more easily find the vast amount of information and services offered by state agencies.

“The new, visually appealing design emphasizes California’s natural beauty, diversity and the spirit of innovation that is distinctive of the Golden State.”

The categories and hierarchy of information are based on the most popular search terms used by past visitors of the site.

“Whether you are renewing your car registration, buying a fishing license or filing a claim for unemployment, California’s portal is the place to start if you are doing business with the state,” said Adrian Farley, California’s Chief Technology Officer. “In fact, there are more than 76,000 web-based services, including more than 700 transactional services available through this site.”

The homepage features quick and easy access to the site’s most essential features, including links to the state agency directory and online services. The accessible design is aimed at easing the burden of locating information on State government programs and services. Clicking on topical areas affords users with an innovative graphical overview of services and data available to them. Prominently displayed links to social media, RSS, video and other media-rich resources, allow visitors to connect to state government in ways with which they are familiar.

Key features of the new portal include:

  • Integration of location-based search technology to display relevant, local information, including libraries, schools, government offices, and online services,
  • Innovative use of data-maps on the main landing pages to show users how the pages are all related to each other,
  • Extensive use of custom search technologies aimed at providing a one-stop search for forms, online services, and other services,
  • Searchable agency directory by keyword including the integration of social media websites for agencies,
  • Redesigned Data.ca.gov portal, which offers up the State’s open data files to citizens and programmers to build mashups or download data for their own use,
  • Expanded mobile web presence for iPhone and other mobile devices, including the addition of more than 20 new web-based mobile apps,
  • Use of proxy detection technology to present the portal in the best way – Flash for those using a player, Flash-free for those who are not, and a mobile version for those using a smart phone; and
  • Interactive features such as clickable and zoomable maps, innovative data maps, custom search integrated throughout the site.

With more than 7.3 million unique visitors a month, the portal provides access to more than 4 million pages of information, services, and online transactions, including:

  • 76,000 web-based services – including more than 700 transactional services,
  • More than 100 million open data records for reuse on data.ca.gov,
  • More than 1,000 live highway traffic camera feeds,
  • A live help operator available to chat Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time,
  • 83 Twitter accounts, with total of 2.3 million followers,
  • 40 YouTube channels, with a total of 11.1 million video views,
  • 36 Facebook pages, with a total of 305,000 fans; and
  • Nearly 100 RSS feeds and email subscription services.

A video tour of the new portal has been posted on California’s YouTube Channel to highlight the site’s improvements. View it at www.youtube.com/californiagovernment.

Contact: Bill Maile (916) 549-2845

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