Google Visualizes U.S. Budget Data with Public Data Charts

Google Continues to Put Public Data Explorer Labs Experiment to Use

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Back in March, Google launched a Google Labs experiment called Public Data Explorer. In the time since its launch, the company has used it to visualize data from the Census Bureau, Energy Information Administration, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

Now, Google has utilized the tool to show data from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). With the data, Google can show things like  historical and projected money spent for the federal government – obviously a hot button issues these days. 

"As always, there are a number of caveats to this data, and we encourage folks to follow up with experts to better understand what it truly means," John Lyman of Google’s Public Data Partnerships arm warns. "That said, like all of our public data visualizations, we hope these simple charts will help inform the public debate and illuminate trends and key insights."

Google Shows U.S. Budget Data

"Note the line for ‘interest on national debt,’ which will outpace the Social Security Administration and Department of Defense by 2015," Lyman points out. 

The entire list of datasets the tool is able to access is as follows:

OECD Factbook 2010
Australian Bureau of Statistics
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Data provided by Minnesota Population Center
Energy Information Administration
Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President
California Department of Education

Google uses public stat charts in search results sometimes. "This Labs feature uses the same line chart visualization," the company says on a FAQ page. "We are planning to make more data searchable and will continue to improve the public data search feature."

The company also says that while the data from the tool cannot be downloaded, they’re investigating features to enable users to export the data.

Google Visualizes U.S. Budget Data with Public Data Charts
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  • http://www.sitebyjames.com/ james

    I looked at the retails sales, and there is virtually no differentiation between the lines. I like the charts, but at the same time, the lack of definitions and explanations as to where the data comes from is a little strange.

    The disconnect between the meaning of data and the visualization is way to large for me to find any use for it.

  • james

    Meaning… what good is it if it is not available inline. That is all I meant…

    • http://www.sitebyjames.com/ James

      Never mind, found it… it’s pretty interesting. Someday I will figure out how to get the data in.

  • http://www.sitebyjames.com/ James

    And just to say what is really on my mind… They should publish Google Salaries, and their running expenses, and their revenues.

    I know a huge swarm of GooglePlex types are now tightly involved with Government through lobbying and such, but I think they are tackling the problems which belong to the U.S. people, not so much Google.

    It concerns me because much like I feel the church should be separated from the state, I feel the same about the corporation.

    Just my opinions.

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