Google opens up Public Data Explorer to your data

Posted to Online Applications  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

With Google's recent data-related offerings, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that they've opened up their Public Data Explorer so that you can upload your own data. Previously, it was only available when you searched for something like "GDP" and a related dataset was supplied by an official provider.

[W]e’re opening the Public Data Explorer to your data. We’re making a new data format, the Dataset Publishing Language (DSPL), openly available, and providing an interface for anyone to upload their datasets. DSPL is an XML-based format designed from the ground up to support rich, interactive visualizations like those in the Public Data Explorer. The DSPL language and upload interface are available in Google Labs.

In terms of visualization, there's isn't anything new. You've got your maps, bar charts, and time series line charts, with the checkboxes on the left (like the snapshot below). Then there's the chart types available via the charting API.

From what I can tell, the data you upload ends up in the public domain, so it kind of has a Many Eyes feel to it, but less exploratory. Then again, Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas are now both with Google, so I wonder if this a jumping off point for them to do more. Or maybe they weren't involved at all.

If it's the former, then great, I can't wait to see what comes next. If it's the latter, then the bigger news is that Google packaged a new data format with this release. We'll see how people take to that one.

Favorites

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …