Google has a useful tool for scientists and other researchers that surfaces online datasets with a simple keyword query. Dataset Search is now coming out of beta with a handful of new features.

Launched September 2018, Google wants to “enable easy access” to thousands of online data repositories housed on publisher sites, digital libraries, and even personal pages. Underpinning Dataset Search is a format that providers can use to mark and make information more easily queried.

New features with today’s launch includes the ability to filter results by format, including tables — the most popular, images, and text, and whether the dataset is available for free. This is housed in a toolbar underneath the search field, with results appearing in a sidebar and previews on the right.

Meanwhile, geographic information can be charted on a map, while the company notes significant improvement to the quality of dataset descriptions. Lastly, Google made Dataset Search available on mobile.

Since launch, Google has found that the service is used by academic researchers, students, business analysts, and data scientists. Common queries include: education”, “weather”, “cancer”, “crime”, “soccer”, and, “dogs.”

Google’s Dataset Search corpus includes nearly 25 million datasets, with the largest topics covering geosciences, biology, and agriculture. Meanwhile, the US leads in open government datasets at over 2 million.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: