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Weekly News Digest

April 30, 2009 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.

CLICK HERE to view all of this week's Weekly News Digest items.

Google Introduces Public Data Search Feature

Google announced a new search feature that makes it easy to find and compare public data from sources. In the first launch, the data are produced and published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Division. There are statistics for prices of cookies, CO2 emissions, asthma frequency, high school graduation rates, bakers' salaries, number of wildfires, and the list goes on.

For example, go to Google.com and type in [unemployment rate] or [population] followed by a U.S. state or county; you will see the most recent estimates and then get an interactive chart that lets you add and remove data for different geographical areas. Users can customize the graphs and share them with others.

The feature derives from Google's acquisition of Trendalyzer 2 years ago. Google says it is looking to expand the scope of public data that people can find through Google. It offers information for public data publishers at www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?answer=144758. Google wants to eventually display data from other governmental agencies, research institutes, and other private organizations. The company says it is interested in both aggregated statistics and the underlying raw data from which they were derived. Other types of structured information such as reference lists and classifications are also of great interest. Google says it will not use any data that compromises the privacy of individuals or infringes upon any proprietary rights.

Source: Google



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Deborah Poulson
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