UC Berkeley election site is a ‘deep Web’

Daily Planet staff
Friday October 27, 2000

Want to find out which Hollywood stars donated to Vice President Al Gore’s Presidential campaign? How about the home prices of the donors to Texas Governor George Bush’s campaign? Or the crime rates in the neighborhoods of donors to either candidate? 

As this year's Presidential campaign climaxes, a University of California, Berkeley, professor has created a Web site that makes such searches easy, and demonstrates the power of new Internet technology he has developed to mine the “deep Web.” “This is more powerful than search engines on the Web," said Joseph Hellerstein, associate professor of computer sciences in the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, who created the site with fellow computer sciences associate professor Michael Franklin and the help of five graduate students and one undergraduate. 

“With this you can do real data analysis, not just find a neat new Web page.” The software that Hellerstein and Franklin developed is called Telegraph, after the street near the UC Berkeley campus famous for its street vendors and street people.  

“Like the Berkeley main street after which it is named, Telegraph is the natural thoroughfare for a volatile, eclectic mix coming from all over the world,” Hellerstein wrote on his Web site. The “deep Web” refers to information on the Internet that is not available by simply following hyperlinks, and thus not accessible through search engines like Google or Inktomi. Some people estimate the deep Web contains 500 times as much information as the rest of the Web. 

The Federated Facts and Figures Website, is at http://fff.cs.berkeley.edu/.