By samoore (1251644911|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)
A Google Custom Search Engine would be very useful for my project on oil consumption. New data comes out on a monthly basis or even more frequently on many sites. Also, trends in oil consumption tend to vary frequently and are hard to predict because they are so dependent on current events. Because of this, it would be important to have a means to search for the most up-to-date information. Below is my initial Oil Consumption Search Engine, which is linked to a few fact-based sites that are essentially databases for all statistics currently available about oil consumption.
Energy Information Administration
I chose the Energy Information Administration website because it has been my greatest source of facts and figures regarding oil consumption so far. It provides weekly oil consumption data, U.S. Imports by Country of Origin, and many other very useful types of data. I used the entire site in my custom search engine because some of the oil data is scattered outside of the Petroleum page on the site. It will be very useful to any user looking for the most up-to-date information because it will have weekly updates while the my wiki site and related blogs will tend to be based on some past data.
I chose Nation Master because it has visuals of all different types of oil consumption data. Though it is not as up-to-date as the EIA website, it provides a bar graph, pie chart, and map for each type of oil consumption statistic it features. As I noted in my blog about Image Search, such graphs and maps are necessary to digest all the numerical information about oil consumption.
BP Statistical Review 2008
I chose the BP website because its information is from a player in the industry. Since BP is an oil company, different types of statistics are presented than would be given by a disinterested source. Therefore, there is more information on methodologies, trade movements, and refineries than on the EIA website and Nation Master. Trade movements are very important in the discussion of how U.S. oil consumption relates the rest of the world. Methodologies and refinery information provide some insight into how oil consumption can be more efficient and the feasibility of alternative methods. The site also contains historical data about oil consumption for each country since 1965.
Though there is overlap between the three sites, each contributes a significant amount of unique information. Together, they provide a large pool of information that contains a large percentage of the useful statistics regarding oil consumption in the U.S. and the world.
Additional sites to be added in the future should be focused on experts' views on the current state of oil consumption. This could primarily come from blogs and news sources. Sites containing research papers on the topic would also be useful, but unfortunately many of these papers would be part of the Deep Web and therefore inaccessible through the custom search engine.
A custom search engine can help cut out many of the irrelevant sources that are found through a normal Google Search. For my topic, using the Oil Consumption Search Engine would help a searcher find relevant information much faster because it emphasizes results from the three sites above. It would be especially useful when used to find the up-to-date numbers for the statistics on my wiki, because these were the sources those statistics initially came from. Therefore, a custom search engine would be a great addition to my project and would make it a much more complete source of oil consumption information.