Government Databases in Recreation, Culture, & Travel
NOTE: These are links to only a selected number of government databases dealing with recreation and travel that are available on the Web. The only databases included are those which are considered substantial research sources; almost all have some kind of search capability unless otherwise noted. Consult links on the Government Information Home Page for additional sources of electronic government information.
Air Traffic Control System Command Center: Flight delay information. Current information on airport delays of all kinds (runway closures, weather problems, de-icing, etc.). There is also a database of current U.S. and Canadian airport advisories, plus links to weather information and a glossary of air traffic terminology.
American Landscape & Architectural Design, 1850-1920. Browsable and searchable collection of lantern slides featuring landscape and architectural features, from the Harvard School of Design's collection. Made available through the Library of Congress' American Memory project.
CRS Reports. These research reports by the staff of the Congressional Research Service cover all subject areas and are excellent overviews. Unfortunately there is not an official government site which offers access to the entire collection. But there are several different institutions and individuals who are working to make these valuable resources available:
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). This database of information on automobile crashes is maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to the FARS database, which contains information on all road and highway crashes, there is access on the page to a report library of research on highway and automobile safety.
FBI FOIA Reading Room. This page has links to FBI reports requested under the Freedom of Information Act that have been in the news or are frequently requested. Sub-sections include Famous People (non-criminals such as Lucille Ball, Mickey Mantle, etc.), Gangster Era, Unusual Phenomena (cattle mutilation, etc.), Historical Interest, and Violent Crime.
Historic Glass Bottle Identification and Information Website. This site, operated by the Bureau of Land Management and the Society for Historical Archeology, contains an amazing amount of information to help collectors identify found utilitarian bottles manufactured since the early 1800's.
Law Library Microform Consortium. The Blume Library has made access to this extensive collection of government records, most of which are agencies reports and decisions, available through our Online Catalog. For more information, see the LLMC web site, linked above.
National Gallery of Art. Images and brief descriptions of an increasing amount of the Gallery's collection. Searchable. There is also a database of information on past exhibitions (back to 1941), giving a brief description, citation to the catalogs, attendance figures and other venue information.
National Park Service Historical Photograph Collection. The online collection may be searched in a variety of ways, including by looking for the work of particular "eminent photographers."
National Register Research. Database containing information on more than 80,000 properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
National Weather Service, Austin/San Antonio office. Forecasts, alerts, educational materials and historical information (e.g., record snowfalls) for our area. There are similar homepages for offices all over the country; you can work your way to the individual offices by starting at the Weather Service's Organization page, which lists all their local offices.
National Wild and Scenic Rivers. This portal provides information from the various Federal agencies that oversee the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. In addition to exhaustive information about the Act's provisions, the website also includes maps, technical publications, and details regarding the rivers such as state-by-state mileage.
Recreation.gov. This portal allows a search of recreation opportunities across several different agencies, including the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, and others, as well as the National Park Service.
Recreational Activities (from National Forest Service). This portal offers easy access to information on camping and other recreational activities, as well as other information on National Forests and Grasslands. You can search by name, state or via an interactive map.
Smithsonian Institution. From this main page you can search across the collections or in individual areas for information about artifacts, art works, exhibitions, etc. You can also access home pages of the particular divisions of the Institution: choose the "Museums and Research Centers" link.
Smithsonian Photography Initiative. A collection of several million images from the various Smithsonian units, and a gateway to online exhibitions presented on these various websites.
Texas River/Stream Flow Gages. This database, part of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife's Texas River Guide, has detailed current flow information for rivers and streams all over Texas. Interactive maps help you pinpoint drainage basins and gage points.
Travel.state.gov. Travel information; includes current travel warnings for dangerous destinations, but also general information on all countries. Also has links to U.S. consular offices with web sites around the world.
Travellers' Health. This site at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information for travelers including current alerts.
UNData. A portal providing access to various UN databases, totalling over 50 million records.
WaterWatch. A great resource for water recreation enthusiasts, this service of the U.S. Geological Survey gives current streamflows for rivers all over the country. The current flows are compared to historical averages.
Weather.gov. The National Weather Service provides this site, where you can find an incredible amount of current weather information about the U.S., plus some data on international cities. Also includes current severe weather alerts.
West Gulf River Forecast Center. Information on rivers, including flood alerts. Other areas' offices are accessible under "Links."