Chicago speeds up searches

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Chicago officials say searches on their government Web site will be faster.

The city has hired Fast Search and Transfer ASA, which sells search technology, to install its search engine on Chicago's official portal. Officials say it will let residents and users retrieve public information in less than a second.

Fast Search began setting up its product for all 46 city department Web sites early last month. Officials hope to speed up the process.

The city's new online search is part of Chicago's transparent government initiative, meant to provide more insight into city operations, make city services more accessible and convenient, and help the public get information faster.

The city has already installed the FAST Data Search engine for an internal program officials use to track building and zoning violations. They said it helped following two recent tragedies: a February fire that engulfed the E2 nightclub and killed 21 partygoers and a June porch collapse that killed 12 people. Officials used the product to quickly track pertinent information on those structures.

They say they use FAST Data Search to link their wide variety of sources with information stored in Oracle Corp. databases.

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