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Friday, February 18, 2011

Use Your Own Data in the Google Public Data Explorer

Last spring Google launched the Public Data Explorer. The Public Data Explorer allows anyone with a Google account to create visualizations of public data sets. Until this week, the only data you could visualize was the data from Google's preferred providers (World Bank, US CDC, US Bureau of Labor, and others). This week Google announced that you can now upload and create visualizations of your own datasets in the Public Data Explorer. To do this you need to use the new Data Set Publishing Language (DSPL) developed by Google. The process of upload data in the DSPL format isn't something you'll learn in minutes, but if you're really interested in doing it Google does have a step-by-step tutorial for you to follow.

To learn more about the Google Public Data Explorer and how it could be used in schools, please read my comments here. Here's part of what I wrote about it last year:

Applications for Education
My first thought when I saw Google's Public Data Explorer was that I could use it in my civics course. Each year in my civics course I ask students to analyze data and create a public policy proposal based on that analysis. The Public Data Explorer could help students compare data sets.


Another good resource for creating data visualizations is Google's Fusion Tables tool

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