Show me the data

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Google recently unveiled its public data search that allows people to generate charts of data from public sources. Nifty. But it doesn’t seem to allow the user to customize the visualization by selecting representations, date ranges, etc., or for data to be extracted for further analysis. It would be great if I could run my own statistical analyses on the data, or generate visualizations with, for example, Many Eyes.

Another problem I see with the data is lack of transparency: I couldn’t see any way to browse the various datasets they have indexed. Instead, it seems that you have to stumble onto them by chance. Nice for serendipity, not so nice for exploratory search.

2 Comments

  1. Interesting: I was so busy comparing them with Wolfram Alpha that it hadn’t occurred to me to think that both had made no effort to offer exploratory search. As for transparency, Google does cite a source and provide a link–for specific answers.

  2. […] week I blogged about Google’s public data visualizations, and suggested that the data lacked transparency […]

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