Environmental health databases on the World Wide Web.A well-known development in computer systems is the collection of computer networks called "the Internet" (1). In recent months, a revolutionary service called the World Wide Web (WWW WWW or W3: see World Wide Web.
(World Wide Web) The common host name for a Web server. The "www-dot" prefix on Web addresses is widely used to provide a recognizable way of identifying a Web site. , or web) has become available on many other commercial systems after this article is published.
Readers of the Computer Corner may have noticed a lag from the last article to this latest one. The delay was deliberate in order to follow these recent developments, and it may be worth the wait. Using the criteria discussed in a previous article (2), World Wide Web fares extremely well as an information system. It is fast, has enormous depth, and is relatively inexpensive. Indeed, it is free for those who have Internet access See how to access the Internet. at universities. Most of all, once you are familiar with this system, it is the easiest way to "surf the net To browse the Internet. The most common Internet browsing today is done on the Web. Before the Web, the Internet was "surfed" via Archie, Gopher, WAIS and other search facilities. See surfing and how to access the Internet. ."
There are excellent references already available on WWW (3), and some of the most useful are on the web itself. With that in mind, this article has three objectives: 1) to introduce the basics of web (including Internet connectivity, hypertext, and uniform resource locators), 2) to highlight environmental health databases on the web (more specifically, to invite NEHA NEHA National Environmental Health Association
NEHA National Executive Housekeepers Association
NEHA Northern Estates Homeowners Association (Indianapolis, Indiana) members to access my personal WWW home pages, which accesses a range of environmental health information), and 3) to discuss possible applications of the web for the environmental health profession.
The internet, as the name suggests, is an interconnection of computer networks. A key to understanding Internet is the level of connectivity. Connectivity refers to how users access an online database. For our purposes, there are three levels of Internet connectivity (with several variations within the three levels).
The first level is access through a so-called gateway. A gateway is a service that allows limited access to the Internet. Examples of this level include America On-Line (AOL (A division of Time Warner, Inc., New York, NY, www.aol.com) The world's largest online information service with access to the Internet, e-mail, chat rooms and a variety of databases and services. ), Prodigy, Compuserve, and other commercial services. This level has limited access to the tools of the Internet - for example, many will only have e-mail access. As mentioned earlier, this is changing, and e-mail can access much of Internet's tools.
Level two connectivity is a modern access to a "host computer." The host mainframe can execute a broad range of Internet commands, and your personal computer acts essentially as a terminal on that mainframe. For example, if you download a file, that file will go to the host (not to your personal computer). Level two is now the most commonly used level, and it is a standard for universities and large corporations.
Level three connectivity is direct access from a personal computer. It is the highest but also the most expensive level. However, there are various forms of level three activity. One variety uses a high speed modem operating on "Point to Point Protocol" (PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) The most popular method for transporting IP packets over a serial link between the user and the ISP. Developed in 1994 by the IETF and superseding the SLIP protocol, PPP establishes the session between the user's computer and the ISP using ) or "Serial Line Internet Protocol (communications, protocol) Serial Line Internet Protocol - (SLIP) Software allowing the Internet Protocol (IP), normally used on Ethernet, to be used over a serial line, e.g. an EIA-232 serial port connected to a modem. It is defined in RFC 1055. " (SLIP). Because this variation does not require 24-hour access normally associated with level three, it is far less expensive.
A key feature, called hypertext, makes World Wide Web easy to use. You move the cursor from one key term to the next on the screen. After pressing "enter" for a particular term, it automatically moves to information about that term. For example, if you select a highlighted word (usually by clicking on it with a mouse), the system then enters an entirely new document.
World Wide Web databases are all interconnected by hypertext. Literally, a world of information is available in a few keystrokes. Besides linking menus, keywords in documents are linked together. For example, you can read a document, find a keyword in that document that interests you, select that keyword (with a mouse), and arrive at a new document elsewhere in the world. Each new document has links with even more documents worldwide.
The web is accessed through something called a browser. A browser can read and fetch documents at multiple sites on the Internet. There are three basic types of web browsers The following is a list of web browsers. Historical
Historically important browsers
In order of release:
In order to get started with all of the links mentioned earlier, it is essential to understand a feature called URLs, or Universal Resource Locators. URLs list the exact location of any Internet resource. Once you select a URL URL
in full Uniform Resource Locator
Address of a resource on the Internet. The resource can be any type of file stored on a server, such as a Web page, a text file, a graphics file, or an application program. , it is possible to bounce from one link to another without ever knowing the exact address of that link. Here is an example of a URL: http://www.csun.edu/~vchsc006/tom.html.
The first part of a URL (before the colon) tells how to access that particular file. In this example, "http" stands for Hypertext Transport Protocol. The rest of a URL (after the colon) is the address of that particular file. In the above example, "www.csun.edu" is the web address for my university ("www" stands for World Wide Web, "csun" stands for California State University Enrollment
at Northridge, and "edu" stands for educational institution). The remaining information lists my e-mail address See Internet address.
e-mail address - electronic mail address (vchsc006) and the name of my WWW home page (tom.html).
The web also allows for keyword searches. An excellent web search engine See Web search engines. is called the WebCrawler (located at the following URL: http://www.biotech.washington.edu/WebQuery.html). The WebCrawler searches not only the titles but also the content to match your keyword. Another well-known web search engine is called the World Wide Web Worm (located at the following URL: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/home/mcbryan/WWW.html).
When you find useful URLs, it is natural to want to save these for later use. This is accomplished with a feature called bookmarks. Bookmarks save the address of a menu or file so you can easily return to it at any time. All of your personal bookmarks are in a list that acts just like a personal menu.
Each Internet service has its own particular bookmark A stored location for quick retrieval at a later date. Web browsers provide bookmarks that contain the addresses (URLs) of favorite sites. Most electronic references, large text databases and help systems provide bookmarks that mark a location users want to revisit in the future. commands, but they all work on the same principle. First, you make a bookmark at a site that interests you. Second, you access that bookmark through a booklist that acts like a regular menu. For example, with Unix-based systems, there are four basic bookmark commands: "a" adds to your booklist the item that the arrow is pointing to; "A" adds to your booklist the current directory; "v" views your booklist at any time; and "d" deletes a bookmark from your booklist.
Environmental Health Databases on the Web
The specific web address mentioned in the previous section accesses a database labeled as the "CSUN Risk Communication Forum" (see Figure 1). This is called a home page, and as mentioned before, I invite all interested NEHA members to visit my home page. It includes a variety of databases relevant to environmental health, and it is all based on the use of hypertext. The easiest way to learn about these databases is actually to enter the web, but this section will briefly define these services.
Section A is a brief introduction to the Forum. Section B is a list of e-mail contacts (mostly elected officials). Section C has a set of Internet tools, including Gopher, Listserv addresses, Whitepages, and other services that can be discussed in later Journal issues.
Section D is a list of libraries and online periodicals. This includes the National Library of Medicine and the EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.
n.pr See acid, eicosapentaenoic.
n. library. Periodicals include EPA newsletters and journals, CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) is a weekly epidemiological digest for the United States published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 5 June 1981 issue of the MMWR published the cases of five men in what turned out to be the first report of AIDS. , and newsletters from the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Agency for International Development (AID). Section E includes information on my university department.
Section F includes various EPA links. This includes a keyword search, EPA regulations (air, water, waste, pesticides, toxics), freely available software, and other services. Section G is devoted to international agencies, including WHO, AID, and the United Nations environmental program. Section H and Section I are devoted to U.S. agencies, with an emphasis on the Department of Health and Human Services Noun 1. Department of Health and Human Services - the United States federal department that administers all federal programs dealing with health and welfare; created in 1979
Health and Human Services, HHS . Section J links various congressional sites, including the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and access to the CFR CFR
See: Cost and Freight .
The success of the web depends on an active network of environmental health professionals. All signs are that use of the web will grow at an unprecedented pace. Already, there are networks for physicists, chemists, biologists, and other scientists (7,8,9). Also, there are networks for environmental planners, physicians, and other professionals (10,11,12).
For our profession, the home page concept offers the possibilities for easy updating of various public documents. There are various possibilities for our university programs: 1) Faculty can more easily share course syllabi syl·la·bi
A plural of syllabus. and lecture materials among universities; 2) Environmental health students, often excluded from NEHA annual meetings (due to costs for flight and hotels), can form useful networks at low or no cost; and 3) Continuing education continuing education: see adult education.
or adult education
Any form of learning provided for adults. In the U.S. the University of Wisconsin was the first academic institution to offer such programs (1904). can provide additional information through the web.
Agencies can use the web in at least the following ways: 1) Manuals can be easily updated and accessed by employees; 2) Regulations can be kept current by directly accessing the pertinent legal source (e.g., CFR); and 3) Agency newsletters on the web can expand outreach to the community.
For NEHA, these initial possibilities come to mind: 1) Basic information on NEHA services and membership information placed on the web could be accessed worldwide; 2) Committees within NEHA might accomplish much of their activities through the web; and 3) Mini-conferences could be sponsored on the web.
In future articles, more of these features will be discussed further. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile , please try accessing my home page. I'll see you on the web!
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IDG Integrated Drive Generator
IDG Installation Design Guide
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IDG Inset Dielectric Guide
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SAMS Space Acceleration Measurement System
SAMS South American Missionary Society (of the Episcopal Church, Inc)
SAMS School of Advanced Military Studies (US Army) Publishing, Indianapolis, Ind.
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1. Highly or excessively active, as a gland.
2. Having behavior characterized by constant overactivity.
3. Afflicted with attention deficit disorder. molecules and the World-wide Web information system," J Chem Soc, (1):7.
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The use of hyperlinks, regular text, graphics, audio and video to provide an interactive, multimedia presentation. All the various elements are linked, enabling the user to move from one to another. Protocols for the Internet," Science, 265(5174):895.
10. McKinney, P.W., J.M. Wagner, and L.M. Kirk (1995), "A Guide to Mosaic and the World Wide Web for Physicians," M.D. Computing: Computers in Medical Practice, 12(2):109.
11. Metcalfe, E.S., M.E. Frisse, and S.W. Hassan (1994), "Academic Networks: Mosaic and World Wide Web," Academic Medicine, 69(4):270.
12. Batty, M. (1994), "The World Wide Web," Environment and Planning The Environment and Planning journals are four influential academic journals. They are described as as 'interdisciplinary', though they have a highly spatial focus, meaning that they are often of most interest to human geographers. , 21(6):651.
RELATED ARTICLE: Figure 1. CSUN Risk Communication Forum: (http://www.csun.edu/~vchsc006/tom.html)
A. Introduction B. e-mail contacts C. Internet tools D. Libraries/Periodicals E. CSUN Health Science Department F. EPA G. International agencies H. Cabinet agencies I. Other agencies K. Congress
Thomas H. Hatfield, Dr. P.H., R.E.H.S., Associate Professor, Dept. of Health Sciences, California State University, Northridge CSUN offers a variety of programs leading to bachelor's degrees in 61 fields and master's degrees in 42 fields. The university has over 150,000 alumni. It's also home to a summer musical theater/theater program known as TADW (TeenAge Drama Workshop) that leads teenagers through an , CA 91330. Internet: THatfield@HUEY.CSUN.EDU.