Informational & Educational Resources on the World Wide Web

There are a lot more useful, informative and educational resources out there on the World Wide Web than many people might be aware of. Here I will try to introduce you to a small fraction of what is really available, and there are more resources on some of my other pages, such as astronomy or chess. Obviously, the selection is subject to my bias, and limited space. But you get the point, I hope, that the WWW can be an extremely useful tool.

Physics and other science resources. The Internet Pilot to Physics, also known by the acronym TIPTOP, is the place to start looking for physics related web-resources of all kinds. TIPTOP is now part of PhysicsWeb, itself a good source for physics related news & information. Other good sources for current physics news are Physical Review Focus and Physics News Update, an online newsletter from the American Institute of Physics. The AstroWeb Consortium is a searchable database of over 2300 links to astronomy and astrophysics resources, including observatories, research laboratories, universities, individual scientists, and societies. The Human Genome Project is an ambitious project run by the National Human Genome Research Institute, a center in the National Institutes of Health; this is a planned 15-year project to sequence all 50,000 to 100,000 genes in the human genome. This is one of the most far-reaching and complex efforts at scientific investigation there is, but you can see it on the WWW. The American Acadamy of Arts and Sciences is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S., founded by congress in 1780, while the revolutionary war was still going on. The National Acadamies is a front page for the National Academy of Sciences (founded during the civil war, in 1863), The National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council, and the Institute of Medicine. The International Council for Science (founded in 1931), which changed its name in 1998, from the original "International Council of Scientific Unions", brings together nearly 150 national acadamies, research councils, and other science organizations.

Atmosphere, Climate & Weather Resources. A good place to start is the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), in the U.S., a part of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). There are a lot of web resources that relate to climate and the prospects for long term changes therein. A few examples are the Canadian Institute for Climate Studies, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Here in the U.S. there are the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and the Climate Diagnostics Center (CDC), all of which are part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For current weather, good places to look are Intellicast and The Weather Channel. For satellite pictures go to the Space Science and Engineering Center of the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The National Hurricane Center and the Tornado Project Online are good for those who are into storms. If you can't get enough violent weather, then visit the Stormtrack Homepage. Those with international interests might visit the Royal Meteorological Society of England, or the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Earthquake resources. If you live in Southern California, then you may want to visit the Southern California Earthquake Center, where you can find all the info about past & current events. Another popular place to visit will be the National Earthquake Information Center, (NEIC) where you can find information on earthquakes worldwide. Carleton University in Ottowa, Canada, maintains a List of current earthquakes that combines the NEIC output with an interactive map, so you can click on the location of the earthquake, and up pops a map to show you where the epicenter is! And, just in case you folks in the Pacific Northwest think you aren't sitting in earthquake country yourselves, you should visit the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. Finally, thanks again to the Geophysics Program at the University of Washington, you can seismo surf the internet, exploring 116 (when last I counted) earthquake & seismology sites on the WWW.

Resources in languages and linguistics. The Human Languages Web Page (now renamed "I Love Languages") is a valuable collection of resources on languages, linguistics, and literature. The Ethnologue Database is an HTML version of Ethnologue: The Languages of the World - 13th edition, 1996 and presents information on 6700 languages and dialects, from 228 countries, and an index that lists over 39,000 language and dialect names. Ethnologue is available only from the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Language, the journal of the Linguistic Society of America is online. There are a number of online dictionaries, for several languages. There is even an Internet Language Dictionary, devoted to the peculiar jargon of the internet! Although not exactly a linguistic resource, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries division of the American Library Association, is an extensive introduction to the world of books, libraries and literatures.

Schools and Universities on the WWW. A great many educational institutions have found a place on the web. Christina DeMello maintains an extensive list of university home pages from all over the world. Her lists are sorted both alphabetically, and geographically, take your pick. There are over 3000 universities in over 80 countries. If you already know where you want to look, then you can select an alphabetical list of American Universities, or a geographical list of Canadian University Home Pages. The Maricopa Community College District maintains a searchable database of over 570 community college web pages, The Community College Web. Finally, there is also an international registry for K-12 school web pages.

Other WWW resources. There are a lot of other resources out there that, while not so easy perhaps to classify, are nonetheless valuable. To start with, The WWW Virtual Library is the most extensive catalog of resources and information on the internet. But the most popular place to start looking for things is probably the Yahoo server. The Library of Congress (LOC) may be the largest library in the world; if it isn't, it's close. The LOC also maintains a server named Thomas, a repository for legislative information on the internet. Thomas presents the full texts and summaries of all legislation pending or passed by the current session of the House and Senate. Another place of great interest is the National Archives and Records Administration, which includes their Online Exhibit Hall. For those in the L.A. Area, the web page for all news radio station KFWB is awash with information, especially their section of resources designed for families and children. If you want to become embroiled in the raucous world of over 16,240 usenet newsgroups, then you want to go to Deja News. And finally, if you want to start to learn how to write your own web page code, in HTML, then go to The HTML Primer.

Last Updated September 7, 2001
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