Google has launched a new search feature that locates and compares public data by presenting the information in interactive graph form. The examples featured by Google include unemployment rates and population. The first search result for “unemployment rate Florida” is the graph of Florida’s unemployment rate from 1990 to recent data. Rolling the mouse over the graph will open windows containing the percentage number being represented by the specific data point, along with the month and year. Comparing data for various states and/or the entire U.S. is possible by simply making selections from the list presented on the left side of the graph. Clicking on the “more info” link on the top of the chart takes you to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the source of the data presented.
Searching for “population Florida” presents data in graph form from 1980 to July, 2008. The graph is interactive and reveals the population number, month and year, for each data point activated by rolling the mouse over the graph. The format for comparing data is the same and makes creating customized charts as simple as clicking various states, or the entire U.S. The “More info” link on the population chart takes you to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates web site.