Data is often only as good as the tools used to help people understand what it means.
Living amongst a sea of data can be a great thing, but only if it can be put to use.
Google plans to open the tools behind its Public Data Explorer to the general public later today, allowing any group or individual to upload their data into the tool and manipulate it for comparison or presentation purposes. The Public Data Explorer currently allows you to compare datasets from around the world uploaded by partners such as the U.S. Census Bureau or the World Bank.
Google is also releasing a list of the top search terms that can be answered with public data, based on the analysis of anonymized search data. School comparisons and unemployment topped the list of the most frequent queries, followed by population, sales tax, and salaries.