Wednesday, June 21, 2006

2006 Statistical Abstract + Zoho Sheet Excel Viewer

All of the tables in the 125th edition (2006) of the Statistical Abstract of the United States are available in Excel format. This is a huge leap forward from PDF, which is how StatAb has traditionally been published online.

Via: The librarian is: BLOGGING | Journalism Library, Columbia University

I really appreciate that all tables have static URLs. This means that I can save and share these resources using the Zoho Sheet Online Excel Viewer. I have previously blogged about Zoho Sheet, a powerful (& free) Web 2.0 spreadsheet application. The Online Excel Viewer allows users to view and interact with existing Microsoft Excel spreadsheets entirely over the web.

Here are a few examples of using Zoho Sheet to view these static StatAb Excel files:There's all sorts of fantastic tables included in the StatAb, and the ability to respond to student requests with an online spreadsheet is more effective than sending an Excel file as an attachment.

And, YES, it is very nice to be blogging again.

9 comments:

Matt said...

Great news about the StatAB and perfect use for Zoho. Strike on up for web 2.0 ;)

Since it sounds like you have experience with large tables in PDF format, is there a good way to get the tables out of a PDF? I am working on a particular project and have tried exporting and conversion software, but the tables are always jumbled. Perhaps your experience has shown you a better way.

Thanks!

mapz said...

Yes, I am so very happy these tables are now available as Excel files.

I have had some success with the relatively new table tools available in Acrobat 7.

When all else fails, I have in the past had to bite that sour bullet and save the PDF as a txt file and then try to find recognizable patterns in the table.

Chris Miller said...

Matt, another sporadically-successful solution is to use pdftohtml, part of xpdf. It's almost certainly inferior to Acrobat's extract for this task, but if you're going to end up doing find/replace on string patterns, you may or may not want html tags to work with.

mapz said...

Chris, that's wonderful... I never considered converting the PDF to HTML before.

I'm definitely going to give this a shot the next time I have trouble with one of them persky PDFs. I'm curious to see if the HTML tags will actually help to parse the text. Thanks for the tip!

Arvind said...

Mapz: Thanks once again for putting Zoho Sheet's Online Excel Viewer to use!

mapz said...

Arvind, you guys make some great tools. Keep up the good work!

Arvind said...

Thanks for your compliments, Mapz :-)

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