Archive for the 'data' Category


Freebase Gridworks

Gridworks sounds very exciting. Check out the screencasts linked from Jon Udell’s blog.

While Gridworks doesn’t attempt to penetrate the semantics of the source data, this is enormous progress from the feeble tabular-data import tools available on Swivel, Many Eyes, Timetric and other sites. From the demo I can’t tell whether it will be possible to save the set of transformation rules applied to one dataset and use it again later. This would be extremely useful for massaging periodic datasets every time the source is updated.

According to the Freebase blog, Gridworks will be released as open source next month.


Datamob identifies public data producers and consumers

Lauren Sperber and Sean Flannagan have launched Datamob, a site that identifies sources of public data and web services that consume and present that data in interesting ways.



The latest arrival on the data-aggregation scene is, by Philip Kromer at the University of Texas in Austin. Infochimps is most similar to Numbrary

This site is clean and well organized. Tagging of datasets is quite thorough. A unique feature to infochimps is recognition of data fields across sources, so you could find, for instance, all sources that have figures for “Personal Income”. So far I’ve been unable to find any fields that actually appear in multiple sources, but this is presumably just a matter of adding metadata to datasets in the repository.

There’s no online viewing of dataset contents, but every dataset is available in (compressed) CSV, YAML and Excel formats. All the reformatting of the source data has been done by infochimps, saving users from repeating this chore. Like Numbrary, infochimps provides links to the source documents that were used to construct the datasets on the site.

So far infochimps has accumulated almost 1,500 datasets, and many more are promised on their blog.


Public Economic Indicators site saved from shutdown

Economic reports that the site will not be terminated as announced previously:

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) has decided to continue the website. Featuring the economic releases from ESA’s Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the site was started by this Administration in 2002 to give greater awareness to these economic statistics. ESA initially planned to discontinue the service due to cost concerns but given the feedback ESA received, the decision has been made to continue the site and improve its functionality.

The Economic Indicators site is merely a list of links to economic news releases from two federal agencies, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, but such cross-agency aggregation points are rare enough as it is. Perhaps they’ll add additional sources of economic news releases (such as the Federal Reserve and Bureau of Labor Statistics) in the future.

(Via OMB Watch.)