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The White House eases access to climate, health data with MATCH search engine

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Following President Obama's executive order calling on federal agencies to make as much of their data free and available on the internet as possible, the White House has published a search engine of climate and health data called MATCH. The search engine is presented online though the US Global Change Research Program's website, and, the White House says, is an example of the government making good on the president's push for more federal transparency.

The idea behind MATCH — the Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health — is to surface datasets that looks at the intersection of health and ongoing climate change. For example, researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs, those working in public health, and anyone else who's interested can search for something like heat waves that took place in Chicago between 1984 and the present day. "Many of the metadata records now retrievable through MATCH — and their corresponding datasets — were previously in difficult-to-access agency archives or stored in non-interoperable formats," the White House said.

Search results from more than 9,000 federal datasets

The search results found in MATCH come from not only the Global Change Research Program, but also the US Geological Survey, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other federal groups. As the President's executive order called for, the data found on MATCH is available for download in a number of different digital formats. And there's also a map view, that helps users visualize what part of the world the data they've found is relevant to. In all, MATCH returns results from 9,000 different health, environmental and climate-science datasets, the White House said.