Where can I find a list of public hospitals along with their location data? I have the school performance statistics worldwide, so how do I share it with the rest of the world? These questions are being posed right now. So, gone are the days visualization addicts (like me...) had to be content with datasets that dealt with the weather, the stock market, and uhm... the weather.
A lot has been happening in the "data" arena, lately. Almost too much to cover in a series of individual posts. So here is a short update of some of the most recent and most important developments (if I missed some, please add in the comments section!).
Public Data [publicdata.eu] has recently opened its virtual doors, as it attempts to rival to the US data.gov initiative in collecting all of Europe's Open Data (and not just governmental data).
Get The Data [getthedata.org] is a more qualitative approach, as it aims to solve the many questions surrounding the aspects of finding and dealing with data. The forum covers topics like "finding" the right data, recommends tools to explore the data, or even provides help in how to clean or reformat data to make it readable for the most relevant visualization or analysis tools.
Data Market [datamarket.com] has launched a few weeks ago. Data Market aims to connect data providers with data seekers: they have integrated more than 40 data providers, some of them really large, like the UN, World Bank and Eurostat, all in a single place. It is an ambitious undertaking: their goal is to be - within a few years - to statistics what Google is to web content. If the data exists out there, a person should become confident that it turns up in a search on DataMarket.com, regardless if it comes from a free and open data source, or a premium data provider.
If historical data repositories is not your thing, you might find "real-time" data more interesting: the Sunlight Labs has just released the Real Time Congress API View History. Who knew the word "Congress" can be mixed with such tech jargon and still be believable? I was guessing that the API gives access to speeches as-they-are-spoken, or provides votes statistics at the-instant-the-congressmen-press-their-little-vote-button, but I can be wrong. Currently, the API consists of 7 collections: bills, votes, amendments, videos, floor updates, committee hearings, and documents.
Lastly, Google Public Data Explorer [google.com] is now open for anyone's data. That means that Google has opened up their data format, the Dataset Publishing Language (DSPL), while it also provides an interface for anyone to upload their own datasets. DSPL is an XML-based format designed from the ground up to support rich, interactive visualizations like those in the Public Data Explorer.
So what are you waiting for?