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Google Expands Data Visualization To Europe

Google's effort to make it easier to find and visualize public data has reached Europe.

On Thursday, the company said that it has expanded its store of public data to include facts and figures from Eurostat and that its data is now accessible across 34 languages and Google domains.

The Eurostat data includes information about unemployment rates, government debt, minimum wage, and broadband penetration in Europe. A subset of World Bank Development Indicators made available in November, 2009, has also been made accessible in multiple languages.

"In the current economic environment, policymakers, academics and individuals around the world (and particularly in Europe) want to ensure that new rules and regulations are evidence-based," said Google's Mary Himinkool in a blog post. "Interactive visualisations such as charts and maps allow raw data to be seen in context and give helpful new insights that can lead to better policies."

Google users can see these data sets graphed when they enter relevant search queries. The query, "smic france", which seeks information about the minimum wage in France, returns a chart as the first result. Google users can also access these data sets directly through Google Public Data Explorer, a Google Labs data visualization experiment.

Google Public Data Explorer is a product of visualization technology that Google acquired from Trendalyzer in 2007. The technology can also be seen in Google Chart Tools, a set of APIs for chart making and data visualization.