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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Google tool tries to make data mining easy

The recently launched Google Public Data plans to start with U.S. population and unemployment data and add on emissions stats from the EPA, the Washington Post reported. The new tool "is taking data, reformatting it so it's immediately consumable ... so people don't have to go through rows and rows of data." Google says many agencies do not organize their Web sites in ways that can be easily indexed by search engines. Some embed codes into their sites, which makes the information invisible in searches.

Google launched a new search tool yesterday designed to help Web users find public data that is often buried in hard-to-navigate government Web sites.

The tool, called Google Public Data, is the latest in the company's efforts to make information from federal, state and local governments accessible to citizens. It's a goal that many Washington public interest groups and government watchdogs share with President Obama, whose technology advisers are pushing to open up federal data to the public.

The company plans to initially make available U.S. population and unemployment data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, respectively. Other data sets, such as emissions statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency, will roll out in the coming months.

More here.

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