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2011 Data 2.0.............shortURL to this page:

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25 minute intro & workshop


Context of Structured Data at Google

  • Google has made it's reputation organizing unstructured data. Now we're turning our attention to helping people get more out of structured data.
    • [unemployment rate ireland]
  • Google Public Data & Explorer is a great example. Data from the World Bank, UN, and other trusted sources is digested to create richer search results. Hans Rosling and his son Ola created the Gapminder visualization, and Ola brought his passion for public statistics to Google to create the next generation of the tool. Now you can upload data to use it too.
  • Spreadsheets in Google Docs of course is a great cloud-based tool for working with structured data, and even publishing it like the UK Guardian did here for the Drug War Deaths
  • Google Refine is a power tool for working with messy data
  • Google Fusion Tables is an easy way to make charts and maps. A modern data management web app making it easy to host, manage, collaborate on, visualize, and publish data tables online

Examples of Fusion Tables

  • When the UK Guardian DataBlog wrote about the deprivation in the UK they offered a map. The data is incredibly local, and even though top ten lists will highlight interesting stories, it really makes an impact when you get to see how your neighborhood ranks - and when everyone gets to see how their neighborhood ranks. The where invites and suggests discussion of the whys and how-tos.   They used Fusion Tables' map tools to turn a bunch of data into thousands of regions on the map.
  • Similarly, the Bay Citizen created an amazing set of maps reflecting changes found from the 2010 Census. My favorite looks at cities. 
  • GovTracker - crowd-sourcing with Twitter #hashtag
  • When the 2010 election was heating up, lots of people had predictions to offer on the outcome of the race. This U.S. Election Predictions gadget updated daily with predictions from 5 different sources.
  • from The State of California is offering several data sets in Fusion Tables, because you can see the data immediately online (no download or software required) and it's immediately available via API.
  • USDA soil samples database. The USDA has thousands of soil samples from around the world. It's inherently spatial, so Fusion Tables made it easy to offer a geographical index to the data.

Overview of features

Now I'm going to demonstrate a lot of great features in Fusion Tables

Demo: Timelines and Pie charts

Pie Chart

How much variety has there been in popular female baby names? 
    1. Filter: Rank = 1
    2. Aggregate: Female Name
    3. Visualize: Pie
Not much variety in the top female names; Mary holds her own.


How popular has "John" been over time? 
    1. Filter: Male name = John
    2. Visualize: Timeline
John was incredibly popular for the first part of the century, and has rapidly fallen out of favor since. 

Follow-along demo: Create a custom intensity map