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It's all on the Web

April 23, 2006|By Kristin Wilson

What do a real estate broker, bankruptcy attorney, radiologist and physics teacher have in common?

They all use the Internet and they use it often.

Today's professional can find an endless supply of information on the Web. In some industries Web technology has totally changed the way companies do business. In others, Web sites have made job tasks easier and quicker to complete.

If you work with computers, chances are pretty good, you have a bookmark list - a list of the Web sites most frequently visited.

The Herald-Mail asked people in multiple professions what is on their bookmark list.

Everyone mentioned they hit Google (www.google.com) several times a day to start a search or find a Web site they don't commonly use.

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Here's a look at some of the other sites professionals in the Tri-State area use to help them do their jobs:

Real estate agent

Kathy Hartung, associate broker with RE/MAX Realty Agency Inc. in Greencastle, Pa., goes to www.remax.com whenever she needs to make a referral.

"If I have a client who is purchasing in another area, I go in there and look for an agent to refer them to," Hartung says. The Web site also allows visitors to search "millions of U.S. properties" both commercial and residential. It includes a section called "Real Estate 101" and tips on choosing a real estate agent.

The official site of the National Association of Realtors (www.realtor.com) claims to offer 2.5 million home listings. Bob Stottlemyer, a real estate broker with Impact Realty in Hagerstown, recommends the site to people looking to buy a home. The Web site includes articles from the national association and offers a section called "Homebuying Tools" which includes information on finding a lender and mover, market conditions, neighborhoods and securing a home loan.

For information specific to the home market in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, Hartung recommends www.homesdata base.com. The site specializes in searches for properties and real estate agents in the mid-Atlantic region.

Attorney

The Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation Web site (www.dat.state.md.us) is a wealth of public-access information. Under the category "Real Property Data Search" the curious can find ownership and value information for Maryland properties.

For example, if you type in the address of a property in Washington County, you can find out when buildings or houses were built on a piece of land, the square footage of any buildings, the value of the property and the value of improvement projects. This Web site was recommended by Andy Bright, a Hagerstown attorney who specializes in domestic relations and bankruptcy law, and Hagerstown attorney Brian Kane.

Bright also uses the home page of West Virginia's Secretary of State (www.wvsos.com). "That's got all the corporate information in West Virginia," he says.

It also lists information about the new voting machines West Virginia plans to use in upcoming elections. Under the main menu bar, click on "Participate in Government" to learn more about various state and federal offices that will appear on this year's ballot.

"I find most useful, government Web sites - federal, state and local," says Kane. "Number one, they seem to have the most reliable information. Number two, they seem to be the least obnoxious in terms of all the pop-ups and ads."

The Washington County Web site (www.washco-md.net) is loaded with information for citizens and businesses and includes comprehensive information about local government. Kane accesses the site in particular to read up on county ordinances and regulations.

Doctor

For Dr. George Galanis, radiologist with Chambersburg Imaging Associates, www.cti sus.com tops his bookmark list. Other sites that are useful to both Galanis and his patients include www.emedicine.com and www.pubmed.gov.

Emedicine.com offers news headlines related to the medical field, information on medical recalls and alerts and reams of information about medical conditions.

Pubmed.gov allows you to search for medical publications by subject. For example, searching under the key word "obesity" brings up links to the most recent studies on the condition.

Dr. Thomas Anderson, vice president of medical affairs for Summit Health in Franklin County, Pa., uses Web sites associated with professional medical associations such as the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (www.paacep.org). When patients search for Web sites to learn more about a medical condition, he recommends sticking to such associations. "Let's say you have heart problems, you could search for the site of the American College of Cardiology (www.acc.org). That's probably one of the best routes for patients to start," he says.

Teacher

Whether as a resource for lesson plan ideas, a supplement to a textbook or an opportunity for interactive education, the Internet is a multi-faceted tool for teachers.

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