Russia: All Regions Trade & Investment Guide 3rd Edition

Now in its 3rd edition this guide from CTEC Publishing LLC  is a comprehensive compilation of data for all 83 regions of Russia.

The guide includes:

  • An introduction by the head of each regional administration
  • Economic maps of the regions, brief general information, full contact details for each regional administration including the names and telephone numbers of relevant officials
  • Labour resources, growth dynamics and GRP structure by sectors, regional budgets and biggest banks, current situation and forecasts for industrial production by major sectors, fuel /energy balances, transport infrastructure, agribusiness, natural resources, products, structure and geography for exports and imports.
  • Each region’s demand for investment is presented indicating: capital investment dynamics, including foreign investment; major companies, including those with foreign participation, investment friendly sectors; data on regional privileges and advantages available to investors.

The Guide publishes data on 1000 real investment projects supported by regional administrations.

Further information, sample pages and an order form are available at .  For a limited time the price has been reduced by 20%.

The full price with the 20% discount is  £316.  It is also possible to purchase individual PDF file covering each of the regions at

Mashups – tasty recipes for 2009!

I am giving a presentation on mashups to the Berks, Bucks & Oxon District branch of CILIP on Tuesday 3rd February, 18.00 for 18.30. Details are as follows:

Venue: Great Expectations, 33 London Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4PS .

Refreshments provided afterwards.

Mashups are not just for the remnants of your Christmas or Sunday dinner! A mashup is also a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool, and you may be surprised at how commonplace they have become. Blogs, Yahoo Finance, Facebook, Geograph, and the latest UK police forces’ crime statistics all use mashups.

Karen Blakeman will look at examples from a variety of sectors and subject areas and show how easy it is to create your own. The issues of quality and ownership of data will also be addressed.

BBOD meetings are free and open to all with a professional interest in the topic.

If you plan to attend, please advise Norman Briggs, BBOD Events Co-Ordinator Tel: 0118 987 1115, or Chrissy Allott, BBOD Chair

New home page for Yahoo! UK & Ireland

… and it is GHASTLY!

It is Monday morning and on my of list of things-to-do when I fire up my laptop is to check My Yahoo! This is where I monitor stocks and shares, news headlines, weather forecasts and have tools such as currency conversion. Before going to My Yahoo I always go to the main Yahoo! UK & Ireland page to view the national and international headlines and see what’s new. This morning was a real shock. The home page has changed dramatically and not for the good.

Yahoo UK & Ireland new home page

Apart from the hideous colours and layout there is no direct link to My Yahoo any more. It is now under ‘All Yahoo Services’ (in very small type on the right hand side). The ‘My Apps’ on the left are definitely not My Yahoo apart from the weather forecast and the stock trader. The latter clearly does not work in this context as it tells me that today my stocks and shares are up GBP 270,165.49 and that my portfolios are worth 2,907,437.49. In my dreams! I am not interested in horoscopes, mailboxes, videos and eBay but there does not seem to be any way of getting rid of them.

Thankfully is still plain vanilla. I have now bookmarked My Yahoo and won’t bother in future with the Yahoo home page. I am now wondering what Yahoo has in store for us next.

Search and the UK’s regional press

If you are a serious news junkie like myself, you may find Martin Belam’s recent series of articles on the UK’s regional press of interest. The articles cover topics such as the provision of RSS (not all newspapers offer them!), links to social bookmarking sites, and the site search options offered by the newspapers. This is all very useful information for anyone who needs to assess the quality and functionality of local press sites in terms of current content, archives and alerting services.

Online maps for local crime statistics

Police forces in England and Wales are now providing access to local crime statistics via online maps. These allow the public to drill down to ward level and view crime trends in their area. The statistics include information about burglary, robbery, theft, vehicle crime, violent crime and anti-social behaviour.

The maps should be available via the local police web sites, although you may have to hunt around for the links. Once you have found the maps, you can either browse them or enter your post code to find information on just your area. The interfaces and presentation of the data can vary considerably between police forces as does the break-down of the crime statistics. Thames Valley provides a basic map and tables of data, while others such as the Metropolitan police offer graphs as well as the figures. All of the online maps colour code areas according to the levels of crime: high, above average, average, below average, low or no crime.

Metropolitan Police crime statistics for postcode DA17 5JD

Metropolitan Police statistics for postcode DA17 5JD

EBRD 2009 Directory of Business Information Sources

11th Edition – New for 2009

January discounts available

Title: EBRD Directory of Business Information Sources on central and eastern Europe and the CIS
Editor: Liz Coles
ISBN: 1874128 31 6
Price: £25.00 January Discount – Pay Only £150.00, EUR 170, $US235 (+ delivery)

Economic, business and political policies adopted in the countries of central and eastern Europe and the CIS following the global economic storm will play a crucial role in European economic recovery.  In the course of its work, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development identifies and evaluates a large volume of business information relevant to the region to monitor the potential and the risks associated with the transition economies of Europe. The EBRD Directory provides access to this wealth of business intelligence both in printed form and on the Internet via a searchable database.

Key Features

  • Gain immediate Internet access to the location of over 3,000 key sources of business information gathered from the world’s leading publishers, banks, commercial and investment agencies.
  • Identify the information sources used daily by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Business Information Centre.
  • Descriptive summaries, comprehensive indexing and Internet search options aid the selection of sources, with active links to email and web addresses.

Visit for full details, sample pages and secure online ordering.

Geograph British Isles – photograph every grid square

Geograph British Isles, sponsored by the Ordnance Survey, aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland.

According to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph the three founders of the project – Paul Dixon, Gary Rogers and Barry Hunter – think of it  as a “modern Domesday Book”.  It was  started in February 2005 and  has apparently  built up a large following in Canada, New Zealand and Australia among people searching for pictures of their ancestors’ home towns.

You can find photos by browsing the map or by searching on keywords. The Advanced Search has options for grid reference, post code, place name and centre of county. You can specify the distance in kilometres (up to 10) from any of the above. The only option that did not work for me was post code.   Other advanced search criteria include contributor, a drop down list for category e.g. weir, date submitted and date taken. All submitters are required to assign a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence to  their photographs and to allow the right to use the work commercially, so this site is ideal if you are looking for photos that you can use in a presentation.

Geograph search results for Caversham weir:

Geograph search results for Caversham weir

If you wish to submit a photo you first have to register.  Once you have logged in, you have to  give the grid reference for your photograph.  Somehow I missed the easy route the first time I tried this and spent ages trying to work out the exact OS reference. The easier and better way to do this is to use the Map Placename Application. This uses Google Maps and you simply home in on your location. The  grid reference is automatically generated and you move on to step 2, which is where you specify the image file you wish to upload. On the same screen you need to supply  the grid reference of the “primary photo subject”, but if you have used the map to find the location this should be filled in automatically. For the photographer position you just drag and drop the relevant circle onto the map.

The next step is to add a title, description, primary geographical category e.g. floods, AA phone box, bus stop.  The date taken is automatically extracted from the EXIF (Exchangeable image file format) information but this can be changed manually – useful  if you never got around to setting up the correct date and time on your camera! Finally, you have to confirm that you agree to the  Creative Commons rights assigned to your photo.

There is a lot on this site and it may not always be obvious to users how to  search, and for those who wish to submit photos it does require time and effort to upload images.  From the searchers’ point of view it is  worth it: the highly structured  records ensure that precision and relevance is high. Family snaps are rejected!  The FAQ clearly states that while people can be in the photo, they must not be the photo.  If you are  looking for photographs of locations in Great Britain and Ireland this is an excellent place to start, but be warned  – it is addictive.

Intelways becomes Browsys Powersearch

Intelways is a an interface to dozens of search engines enabling you to type in your search strategy once and click your way through the list of tools one by one. The search tools are grouped according to media and resource type for example news, images, video, reference. It is an excellent way of quickly running your search through a whole range of tools and also a reminder of Google alternatives. It is a great favourite of mine and this morning I was horrified to find that is now a holding page on It appears that the domain name ownership expired on January 3rd and has not been renewed by Intelways. I tried the older name for the search tool,, and was relieved that it redirected me to Browsys Powersearch.

Browsys Powersearch

This is owned by Intelways, looks exactly the same as Intelways – apart from the Browsys logo – and does exactly the same thing. So sighs of relief here at RBA.

I wonder if Intelways deliberately allowed their domain name to lapse, having decided to change the branding of their site, or if they just forgot. If it was the former then it was not a sensible decision as most people will assume that Intelways is no more. Keeping the domain name and redirecting to Browsys, as does the old URL, would have been much better. But perhaps more people were using the Crossengine URL than Intelways.

Workshop on Advanced Search Strategies, London

Several people have asked me when I am next running my workshop on advanced search strategies (sometimes known as Google and Beyond) in London. The next date for London is Wednesday, 18th February and there are still some places left. The venue is InTuition House, Borough High Street, London SE1 1JX, which is close to Borough tube station and London Bridge. The cost is £150 + VAT (total: £172.50) and includes refreshments and a buffet lunch.

Full details of the workshop together with a booking from are on my web site at . You can pay by credit card, PayPal or request to be invoiced for the event.

For those of you who live in the Manchester area, I am running a similar event for UKeiG on April 1st. Details are at