Why are Australian Government search engines so freaking dumb ?

Looking for a quick link to the flagship BoM adjusted and warmed temperature dataset ACORN-SAT – I foolishly thought it would be quick to search for it using the the search engine on the BoM main page.
My screen-dump shows the result.

But no – can not be found, Absolutely amazing. And our taxes pay for this rubbish.
Here is the ACORN-SAT front page for those interested.
I was using the National Archives www site the other day – same thing –
their search engine was way less than stellar.

3 thoughts on “Why are Australian Government search engines so freaking dumb ?”

  1. I looked at reg.bom.gov.au/robots.txt and it seems they don’t want any search engines other than theirs to access their site.

    The acorn-sat page does link to the individual min/max data files using the “Data & network” tab. As it would be a PITA to download them individually, it gave me a reason to install a download manager in my Firefox browser an test it out. For your convenience here is link to a zip file(24MB) of the daily data for all 112 stations.

    docs.google.com/file/d/0BwgvXltqyz8aYUhWa2pxdlQ1R1U/edit?usp=sharing

    Once that link has finished loading you will find under the “File” tab a download link for the zip file.

    I installed the DownloadThemAll add-on for Firefox to download them. Worked well.

  2. Searching on “acorn” alone gives much better results. Using this in Google:

    acorn data online site: bom.gov.au

    Gives pretty bad results.

  3. I too have found Govt website searching often not very productive. Surely they would make the searching more efficient by just adding a Google search module. I doubt that many Govt orgs really want you to be able to comb their sites too well.
    It would be interesting to know what was spent on IT for some of these poor performers. I recall being in Fed Govt city offices and using PC’s there for the public which are not on the www – being unable to coax much at all from their search engines even when I had exact report titles.
    Remember that Vic Senator in the Howard years, Richard Alston, a new website for his Communication Dept cost just over $4million. Nice contract to be on that one. Some comments on his now dead website from long ago here and here.

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