A few hours after the UK Government launched data.gov.uk, a website that offers an insight into more than 2,500 data sets worldwide, the Guardian has launched what it calls an "online gateway to global data portals".
The project called the World Government Data Search provides Links to datasets from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand and is the latest development in Guardian's Open platform project.
But while it is easy to search by keyword for particular topics, there's no easy way of actually visualising the data let alone compare them across board without doing the hard work yourself.
The editor of the Guardian's news website, Janine Gibson, declared in a press statement that "What we've done with the World Government Data Search is to provide a simple, user-friendly gateway to all of those statistics and numbers, so users can search for statistics [....]".
The Data set comparison website still lacks data sets from other countries to become truly useful. Plus rather than offering the dataset in a convenient and manageable format, the WGDS often just provides a link to third party websites like the Office for National Statistics.
It seems therefore that rather than being able to compare similar datasets from different countries, the project from Guardian only serves, for the time being as a repository of links to 3rd party data sets.
Guardian's Open Platform in general is supremely avant-garde for what it does and it could become more useful with some improvements. Now, let's see how a service like Wolfram Alpha could adopt it and bring it to another level.