Destinations Magazine

Google’s Dataset Search Tool

By T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

There are hundreds of data portals on the web now, all providing access to millions of data sets; with added demand for governments around the world to publish more and more data. And as I am sure many of you know, sometimes finding geospatial data that is available can be a lot of work, and one of the reasons why we continue to promote Canadian data sources on our website.

Google’s Dataset Search Tool
To help provide better access to open data, Google has launched a beta version of their Dataset Search tool, so that the geospatial community, or anyone else can find the data they need. The dataset search tool provides the ability to search through multiple open data portals from around the world by searching through the sites meta data schema. The power of a tool like this is immense, as it can make finding data more efficiently

Search tools like this one, the tool relies on high quality meta-data and thus are really only as good as the metadata that data publishers provide, thus the importance of not just releasing data but good data.

This tool is a great start to having a central location where people can easily find the data they need from multiple sources and has plenty of potential. However, you may discover (as we did) that it does not search all the Canadian data sources that we have listed.

For example, when searching with the word New Brunswick, it fails to return any data from the Service New Brunswick GeoNB website.

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