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 data.gov web site, for example, but data.gov doesn't provide an easy way to visualize the data that it provides.

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