Google unveils new search engine for locating datasets online

Google unveils new search engine for locating datasets online

Illustration via foehub

Scientists, data journalists, data geeks, and any other data users will now easily discover datasets online thanks to the “Dataset Search” tool recently launched by Google.

The tool lets users find datasets wherever they’re hosted whether it’s a publisher’s site, a digital library, or an author’s personal web page. For ease of access, dataset providers are required to store their data in a way that search engines can better understand the content; including information about what the dataset is about, who created it, terms of using the data, how the data was collected, and other relevant information.

To improve the quality of the data provided, Google goes ahead and links this information with other versions of the same dataset allowing users to be able to compare a dataset with other similar datasets.

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Dataset providers have also been encouraged to adapt to this common standard so that all datasets are part of this robust ecosystem.

“A search tool like this one is only as good as the metadata that data publishers are willing to provide. We hope to see many of you use the open standards to describe your data, enabling our users to find the data that they are looking for. If you publish data and don’t see it in the results, visit our instructions on our developer’s site which also includes a link to ask questions and provide feedback,” reads the post on Google’s blog.

This comes after Google search engine started highlighting key data journalism and tabular data in search engine results as a way of providing answers to queries directly in search results.

With this new Google Dataset search tool, Google hopes to reach a much broader audience as compared to highlighting key stats in search results which have mostly been helpful to data journalists and news organizations.

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