Pulling Live Data Into Google Spreadsheets

Groovy guy Philipp Lenssen has an excellent post about how to pull data from Google into Google Spreadsheets.

As he notes the syntax is =GoogleLookup with two variables; to find the population of Boston you could use this syntax:

=GoogleLookup(“boston”; “population”)

When you paste that into a Google Spreadsheet, Google will load the results (in this case with a citation year.) I couldn’t get everything to work — I tried a pounds-to-Euros automatic conversion and it would never come out right. Google has a fairly extensive docs page but I suspect they’re not covering everything.

(Google’s full slogan, if you didn’t know, is “Do no evil, do lots of easter eggs.”)

I would love to combine this with a scraper to extend the functionality a lot. I’ll have to look into the possibilities of offline spreadsheets like Excel — see what they can pull up….

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