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Saturday, August 18, 2007

San Ramon Research Search Engine

SearchBuilding a Better Mouse Trap

With all the talk of the community center or more properly said to be a downtown city center, we at the San Ramon Tribune felt it was important to provide people with the best research tools possible for analysis of the various projects going on in the San Ramon community.

To that matter, we have built a Google Custom Search Engine for the main websites in San Ramon, related to civic and business matters for the local community. There has been a collection of major data over the years from a number of websites that is of historical importance. Citizens, government officials, and even newspaper reporters can get the inside scoop using the San Ramon Search Engine as a research tool for all matters related to government and community.

With the launch of the San Ramon Tribune online newspaper a little over a week ago, we have given all the sites operated by the San Ramon Tribune editors a new and fresh look and feel. We think you will find the new sites quite versatile and user friendly. However, there are times where you might have remembered reading something in one of the postings on one of the websites but forgot where it was at. Well, with the Google Custom Search Engine we have substantially solved that problem for everyone.

While having a search specific to one site is great, an even better solution is to include a number of websites. Sure, we could have just included our own websites in the search results, but that would not have been as good a solution as including some of the other websites from around the San Ramon Valley.

We have included the City of San Ramon website found at, in the search results. While the City of San Ramon has a search engine built into their own website, it is sometimes very difficult to find the pertinent information a person is looking for when using their built in search engine. With the San Ramon Tribune's Google Search algorithm, the results are much better in our estimation, and are displayed in a much more comprehensive manner, and is much easier to navigate between the results.

We have also included into the search results, from the website San Ramon Observer located online at The San Ramon Observer has for sometime collected a number of historical documents of significance and personal comments to justify inclusion.

Websites maintained and operated under the San Ramon Tribune include the following:

The San Ramon Tribune online newspaper about a wide variety of news topics found at

The Golf Course topic found at Archives of the history of the city council changing the zoning of the golf courses from parks, to commercial recreation (which allowed significantly higher FAR, Floor Area Ratios, and other commercial building), and finally into their own golf course zone.

The Eminent Domain topic found at Archives of what the city council has tried to do with Beta Court, and the implementation of eminent domain for private gain on the San Ramon books.

Privacy Talk topic found at Details of how many of our city officials take privacy too lightly on the Internet, and what people need to be careful of, and aware of, when communicating with the city through the city's website.

There is one other website that still can be found in the search results, but will soon diminish in the search engine results pages, and that is the San Ramon News, website. As you know, and are reading this online, you will notice that the became the San Ramon Tribune. Note: If anyone has a link to the old website, it will still function, including the links to a particular internal article will also work, but if you would like to update the link on your website, it might make better sense for your readers online. For the moment, the search results will have both the new and the old site included for awhile.

Additional San Ramon Websites Included in the Search Results

The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce found at We felt it was good to include the business community into the fold.

San Ramon Historic Foundation
located online at The Historic Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of San Ramon's early farms and homesteads.

And, last but not least, is the San Ramon Arts Foundation located at The San Ramon Arts Foundation (SRAF) was founded in 2000, and was established as a tax-exempt organization 501 (c)(3) to encourage, support and promote the arts that enhance the quality of life in San Ramon.

As the City of San Ramon grows, we expect to see other websites develop from business and community groups, individuals, and other organizations that will be welcome into the search fold. If you would like to submit a site for consideration into the San Ramon Search custom search engine results pages, send us an email with the website suggestion. We can not make any promises that a particular website will be included into the custom search engine but we will give consideration to everyone.

How Does The Search Engine Work?

Simply type in a search term above in the search bar, or on any of our websites and you will see the results pages specific to the sites listed above. If you wish to display only a certain segment of websites in the search results, simply refine your results using the refinement links, or click on the label at the right side of any of the results that has a label on it. This will then only display the various sites included by the refinements.

Currently the list of refinements are as follows:

City Website, Tribune, Observer, Eminent Domain,
Golf Courses, Privacy, Chamber of Commerce, Arts,
Historic Foundation,

Once again, use the San Ramon Tribune custom search for research, local government documents, policies, laws, rules, regulations, ordinances, building codes, zoning changes, eminent domain, golf courses, city council affairs, business concerns, traffic congestion, ridge line development, open space issues, brown act, property rights, redevelopment, entitlements, ABAG numbers, privacy, and even controlling rats in San Ramon.

Note: From time to time we will fine tune the search engine to possibly include all websites but give extra emphasis to the selected websites listed.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for including the Observer. I shall try out your search engine when researching new stories for the Observer.

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