Canonical Concepts

As mentioned in the Developer Guide, datasets can reference concepts defined in other datasets. Google, in particular, has created a set of "Canonical Concept" datasets that are useful in a wide variety of cases. Among other benefits, linking to these allows one to:

  • Control how data are visualized (e.g., colors, units, etc.)
  • Specify data annotations
  • Define time points in a consistent way
  • Make concepts mappable
  • Reduce data entry when using common geographic concepts (e.g., countries)

These datasets are summarized in the table below:

Dataset Name Description Links
entity DSPL entity concepts Documentation
geo World geographic concepts Documentation
XML US-specific geographic concepts Documentation
quantity Quantity concepts Documentation
time Time concepts Documentation
unit Unit concepts Documentation

Follow the documentation links above for more details.

Caution: Some of the canonical concepts documented here are not (yet) visualizable in the the Public Data Explorer. See this FAQ item for more details.

Concept Relationship Graph

The following figure summarizes the documented canonical concepts. Each node represents a single concept (color-coded by dataset) while the arrows between concepts show inheritance relationships (e.g., quantity:count extends quantity:quantity). Clicking on a node in the figure will take you to the documentation for the corresponding concept.