Vast development has taken place on the website of the National Statistics Office of Georgia (http://www.geostat.ge/). It may be that some readers of this review will not see the proper view of the Home page because of an issue with the very unusual typeface (the font only has 32 characters – and no capital letter equivalents). The link to the English language page is in the top left hand corner of the page.
The top of the Home page is reserved for key information, including a map, and a couple of recent press releases. The hyperlinked arrow to the bottom left of the map takes the user back to the world map which then zooms in on Georgia. The key statistics by the side of the map provide the two key statistics that are always on my list to find in a site.
Below this is a navigation bar: most of the entries link to more specific drop-down menus. The basic entry to statistics is through the listing of themes on the left-hand side. Following the population link leads to a summary table of data with other links below it. Following ‘Births’ from this list takes the user to an HTML table of births with a further list of available tables below (all in Excel format). Available data from other topic areas is presented similarly. When moving into the site, the top part of the Home page is not retained which allows more space for the topic presentation.
One of the latest news items is the Statistical Yearbook. This is provided in a Zip format with a file size of 1.13 Mb; unzipping the file, the resultant PDF file is only 1.32 Mb. It is not sensible to generate a Zip file for such minimal saving. Within the 299 pages of the yearbook, data are not formatted consistently across the different chapters. Nevertheless, the bilingual format does make for an interesting presentation.
The site is obviously still under development as the meta-data structure is present from the centre navigation bar but mainly leads only to pages with topic headings. The Products link yields a very long list of possible tables – but none are yet hyperlinked nor is there a note on this page of how to obtain such tables. When reviewing the site, one of the press releases noted on the top right of the Home page was that for the CPI: this linked to a downloadable PDF file – which was 2.3 Mb and thus nearly twice the file size of the 299 page yearbook!
In the centre of the Home page, two charts appear to cycle – one on GDP and one on inflation: the user cannot link directly to the data underlying these charts. The same is true for the key indicators data at the top of the page. Simple links to the latest relevant press releases would help the user.
From surfing the outline of this site, it is clear which way development is going – and the final product will be well worth viewing and investigation.
Happy surfing …
This review was undertaken by Ed Swires-Hennessy using Internet Explorer version 7.0 on 28 February 2011 at 19.00 hrs GMT using a 20 Mb link to the Internet on a Pentium 4 1.7 GHz machine.
This and reviews since January 2009 are published in the blog; earlier reviews are published to my website, http://www.surfingwithed.org.uk