While launching an experimental visualization tool called Google Public Data Explorer in Google Labs, Google set about finding the most searched for public data search queries in the US.
The search company discovered that School comparisons, Unemployment, Population and Sales tax were some of the most popular data and statistics-based keywords searched for on their site.
"To help us better prioritize which data sets to include in our public data search feature, we've analyzed anonymous search logs to find patterns in the kinds of searches people are doing," explained Google's Jürgen Schwärzler, Statistician, Public Data team.
Many of the most popular searches were then included in Google's Public Data Explorer datasets - a new tool that "makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don't have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings."
Google's most popular data and statistics search topics:
1. School comparisons
4. Sales tax
6. Exchange rates
7. Crime statistics
8. Health statistics (health conditions)
9. Disaster statistics
10. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)11. Last names
13. Oil price
14. Minimum wage
15. Consumer price index, inflation
17. Cost of living
18. Election results
19. First names
20. Accidents, traffic violations
The search terms were based on one week's worth of searches in the US.
The full list of the 80 most popular data and statistics search topics can be downloaded here (PDF file): http://www.google.com/googleblogs/pdfs/google_public_data_march2010.pdf
Google's Public data Explorer beta can be seen here: http://www.google.com/publicdata/directory