Economics should be open

September 29, 2008

Eurostat “database” and downloading bug

Filed under: Data Insights, Open Source — Tags: , — howardchong @ 10:02 pm

I need to download various data from Eurostat (the European statistical unit). I found this bug (and work around) for downloading files in a standard format readable by a variety of software packages.

Accessing the Web-access to the “Database” using Firefox (, called Eurostat Visual Application), I get a consistent error in downloading files. After the first step of specifying the query and the second step of table definitions, I select “For Databases” and then click on download. The file downloaded is called a ZIP file, but is not of zip format and is always about 410 bytes long. When I click download a second time, it opens up another window in the browser with a link. When I click this link, then I get the data I requested. I’ve come across this bug several times with different data sets.

With both Google Chrome and Internet Explorer (7), I cannot get downloading of the “for database” option to work correctly at all.

So, I reported this to Eurostat today. I’ll see if they give a response.

I’ll save you a rant on Eurostat generally, but summarize it with: “Great Data. Bad Access Tools.”



  1. Please try the new Data Explorer extraction tool of Eurostat (to be found in the navigation tree which holds all data sets). Here you can interactively customize your data set and table display (sorting, hiding, moving rows, etc.), and print your customized table, and save it in various formats and bookmark it for instant re-use later on. Have fun.

    Comment by anonymous — October 24, 2008 @ 6:51 pm

  2. Thanks to the anonymous poster above. That was really helpful. I put a new post on the NUI eurostat data access interface.

    Comment by howardchong — October 24, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

  3. Today, I was using the old tool (the NUI was broken) and it wouldn’t let me download. GRRR.

    Comment by howardchong — December 3, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

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