Library Notes for Political Science

Teaching resources, news, and links to keep McGill’s Political Scientists informed

Government Data tool

Posted by Megan on February 8, 2010

As sources of data multiply like rabbits in the digital world, efforts to control and organize the resources are increasing. The Guardian in the U.K. recently posted a World Government Data portal that collects data from the governments of the Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. (the term “world” is used loosely here).

From the website:
“Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults – allowing you to check out, visualise and analyse the numbers for yourself. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand – and look out for new countries as we add them. Read more on the Datablog.”

The data available is rather limited compared to the governments’ own websites and those maintained by organizations like, for example, the EIU or World Bank, but an interesting feature here is how data is collated by topic to tied to news stories. In addition to keyword searching, data can be found through a subject browse list, which ranges from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, with birdwatching and rail transport in between.

Screenshots are below.


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