Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Google Public Data Explorer Visualizes Your Data

Google Public Data Explorer Visualizes Your Data

From the official Google Blog item

Over the past two years, we’ve made public data easier to find, explore and understand in several ways, providing unemployment figures, population statistics and world development indicators in search results, and introducing the Public Data Explorer tool. Together with our data provider partners, we’ve curated 27 datasets including more than 300 data metrics. You can now use the Public Data Explorer to visualize everything from labor productivity (OECD) to Internet speed (Ookla) to gender balance in parliaments (UNECE) to government debt levels (IMF) to population density by municipality (Statistics Catalonia), with more data being added every week.***

Today, we’re opening the Public Data Explorer to your data. We’re making a new data format, the Dataset Publishing Language (DSPL), openly available, and providing an interface foranyone to upload their datasets. DSPL is an XML-based format designed from the ground up to support rich, interactive visualizations like those in the Public Data Explorer. The DSPL language and upload interface are available in Google Labs.

To upload a dataset, click on the “My Datasets” link on the left-hand side of the Public Data Explorer. Once imported, a dataset can be visualized, embedded in external websites, shared with others and published. If you’re an official provider, you can request that your datasets appear in the Public Data Explorer directory; please contact us to discuss this process.

With this new capability, we hope more datasets can come to life through Public Data Explorer visualisations and enable people to better understand the world around them and make more informed, data-driven decisions. Stay tuned for more datasets, visualization features and DSPL extensions in the future.


***Health related databases of note

Chan EH, et al. (2010) Global capacity for emerging infectious disease detection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Catalogue of selected WHO-confirmed outbreaks (as reported in “Disease Outbreak News”), 1996-2009. This tool is meant to provide a visualization of the dataset used in this publication from the HealthMap Project (Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School,
Sexually Transmitted Disease Morbidity Data from U.S. National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This dataset was prepared by Google based on data downloaded from CDC WONDER.
  • NCHS, OAE powered by CDC WONDER

    Counts and rates of death by underlying cause of death, age, race, sex, and year. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) National Vital Statistics System at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), powered by CDC WONDER. This dataset was prepared by Google based on data downloaded from CDC WONDER.

  • Cancer cases in the U.S.
Cancer cases by U.S. state, age group, gender and cancer site. Cancer statistics are produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in collaboration with the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). This dataset was prepared by Google based on data downloaded from CDC WONDER.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bloomberg News Launches Consumer Comfort Index

Bloomberg News Launches Consumer Comfort Index

From the February 15, 2011 news release

NEW YORK — Bloomberg News announced today the launch of the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index, [latest table here] a weekly, random-sample survey tracking Americans’ views on the condition of the U.S. economy, their personal finances and the buying climate. The survey, formerly sponsored by ABC News since 1985, will be released on a weekly basis beginning Thursday, February 17 at 9:45am ET on the Bloomberg Professional service and subsequently on

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is produced by Langer Research Associates of New York. Each release includes results among 1,000 randomly selected adults, with breakdowns available by age, race, sex, education, political affiliation and other groups. The Index has significant long-term correlations, including on a time-lagged basis, with a variety of key economic indicators.

In addition to its three measures of current sentiment, the Consumer Comfort data include a monthly gauge of economic expectations, based on the share of Americans who say the economy is getting better, getting worse or staying the same. The first expectations results will be included in this week’s release.

“The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is a natural extension of Bloomberg’s continued commitment to the most comprehensive reporting of the U.S. economy,” said Matthew Winkler, Editor-in- Chief of Bloomberg News.

“The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index provides a rich, ongoing source of intelligence on Americans’ views of economic conditions,” said Gary Langer, president of Langer Research Associates. “We’ve tracked these attitudes in representative, national surveys on a weekly basis continuously for 25 years. Combining that expertise with Bloomberg’s depth in financial data and news reporting is ideal for Bloomberg’s news and data clientele.”

About Bloomberg Bloomberg is the world’s most trusted source of information for financial professionals and businesses. Bloomberg combines innovative technology with unmatched analytics, data, news, and display and distribution capabilities, to deliver critical information via the Bloomberg Professional service and multimedia platforms. Bloomberg’s media properties span television, radio, digital and print, making up one of the world’s largest news organizations with more than 2,300 news and multimedia professionals at 146 bureaus in 72 countries.

About Langer Research Associates Langer Research is a custom research firm specializing in survey design, management and analysis. Based in New York, Langer Research is the primary news polling provider for ABC News and produces in-depth surveys and data analysis for other media, foundation, business and government clients. Field work services for the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index are provided by SSRS/Social Science Research Solutions of Media, Pa.

Editor’s note: While this index is an economic indicator, it seems very likely that one’s views on the economic climate and personal finances will influence health related decisions (as purchasing preventative and needed medicines, healthier but higher priced foods, and more).

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: