Tuesday, 28th April 2009
Google Starts Begins Making Public Data Easier to Access, Visual
New online from Google are a few tools to compare public data information. This first release is a small amount of a service Google promises to grow over time. Release number only includes two data points (unemployment and population) at the county or state level. Data is from from the U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics. A timeline as to when more data and sources will become available was not included in the blog post so stay tuned.
From the Google Blog Post:
We just launched a new search feature that makes it easy to find and compare public data. So for example, when comparing Santa Clara county [CA] data to the national unemployment rate, it becomes clear not only that Santa Clara's peak during 2002-2003 was really dramatic, but also that the recent increase is a bit more drastic than the national rate.
More here including a video.
To try this first release head to Google and enter either [unemployment rate] or [population] followed by a U.S. state or county, you will see the most recent estimates. Then click on the chart and you'll then see a list of other locations (at the state and county level) so you can make comparisons.
+ Unemployment Rate Cook County
+ Population Virginia
After trying several searches we did discover a small problem. Disambiguation. So, make sure to include the state when you are searching for a county. Problem solved.
For example, Douglas County Population shows Douglas County, Nebraska by default. This is why adding the state is important if you want another location like Douglas County, IL.
Info pros have been accessing tools with this type of data, American Fact Finder as one example, for years. However, this service from Google will undoubtedly make this type of public data much more accessible.
We hope Google not only adds more data points but keep these and future data points with the most current data available.
See Also: American FactFinder for Census Data
See Also: International Database (via U.S. Census)
See Also: Bureau of Labor Statistics Database Collection