“Depth Reporting”

From MARK SCHAVER, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY, UNITED STATES,  The Courier-Journal’s computer-assisted reporting director:
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Interactive public data from Google


You can now type “unemployment rate Kentucky” or “population indiana” in the Google search box and get an interactive chart that allows you to do comparisons with other states. Says Google:

… we have been working on creating a new service that make lots of data instantly available for intuitive, visual exploration. Today’s launch is a first step in that direction. We hope people will find this search feature helpful, whether it’s used in the classroom, the boardroom or around the kitchen table. We also hope that this will pave the way for public data to take a more central role in informed public conversations.

TechCrunch suggests it was deliberately intended to steal the thunder of a soon-to-be-launched search engine from the maker of Mathematica. See also: Wolfram Alpha in blogstats

It also can’t be good news for Many EyesSwivel or Data360.

5 thoughts on ““Depth Reporting”

  1. I don’t know… there are lots of problems to be solved about data and the web. There’s visualizing, which gets most attention because it’s the emerged part of the data iceberg and because it gets the wow effect. now that’s where many-eyes, swivel and so many others are.

    There’s accessing the data, which gets some attention because of the neverending debate on copyright and gov’t data.

    Then, there’s finding the data which gets no attention because search engines make it look like a “problem solved” although no one makes it right.

    this solution by google is not about finding data but about presenting data.
    I don’t think it’s sustainable in its present form as a way to search for data, b/c with this approach they’d need to restrict themselves to very few datasets (for instance “unemployment rates” would point unambiguously to one dataset whereas there are several definitions).

    the application as a viewer and comparer of time series is nicely done and fast.

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