Magazine article Information Today

Public Data Explorer Maps Top Data Searches

Magazine article Information Today

Public Data Explorer Maps Top Data Searches

Article excerpt

Google's Public Data Explorer (www.google.com/ publicdata/directory) was launched in March 2010, so it isn't that new. It is the successor to Google's Public Data Search, a special search capability for public data sets, such as population and demographics. The Public Data Explorer is not a search engine per se; rather, it is an app that generates graphs and other visualizations for thirdparty data sets. It uses an X-axis/Y-axis template and allows users to select different data elements for each axis, thereby providing a range of display options. For example, population data might be graphed by size on one axis and date along the other to show population change over time.

Although the Public Data Explorer is a standalone app, the site has been loaded with several dozen data sets, which allow it to serve as a sort of statistical reference database. The data sets were chosen to represent the most common data searches conducted in Public Data Search. They provide a large and useful set of U. …

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