Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An example of use of Google public data explorer


Monday, 03 October 2011

Google public data explorer

I just learned that Google provides a way to explore and visualilze lots of public data about the state
of the world. There's not much information about information security in the data that's available to 
look at, but there are some things that are closely related. In some cases you need to look carefully 
at what the data is really telling you.

Here's a graph that I made using this service that compares the number of Internet users in the US 
and China. Note that this particular graph doesn't tell you the units for the vertical axis. It turns out 
that that's the number of Internet users per 100 population, but I had to follow a few links to the 
original data set to find that.
Most of the data sets seemed to do a better job of displaying what the units of the data are. 
Here's an example that shows this. In this case it's clearer what the units on the data are.

There's lots of other data out there that could benefit from a similar web interface. There's lots
of data at the US government's web site, for example, but doesn't provide
an easy way to visualize the data that it provides.

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