On March 31, Google officially announced the launch of a project called the New Coronary Virus Public Data Set (COVID-19 Public Datasets), which will host a public data repository related to the outbreak and open it to the outside world for free access and analysis.
Google says the goal is to remove barriers and provide researchers with fast, convenient access to critical information without having to search for and carry large data files.
In this so-called public data set project, its data includes the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE) dataset, global health data from the World Bank, and OpenStreetMap data, all of which will be stored free of charge on Google Cloud Google also said it would be in early contact with the organizations behind the data sets.
According to Google’s arrangement, these datasets will be labeled “COVID-19″, a description, and several sample queries, which can be made from the Google Cloud Market Console and BigQuery user interfaces, where they are marked as ” freebqcovid”.
It’s worth noting that researchers can use Google’s BigQuery ML service, which enables users to use SQL queries to create and execute machine learning models in BigQuery (a fully managed data warehouse) to train machine learning models on COVID-19 datasets.
Based on the public nature of this project, the user is completely free to query, and the query free policy continues until September 15. But Google notes that if any dataset is combined with a non-COVID-19 dataset, the bytes processed will be counted in BigQuery Sandbox, with 10GB of storage and a 1TB query limit per month – and then charged a volume to prevent abuse.
Chad W. Jennings, Product Manager and Head of GIS at Google BigQuery, and Shane Glass, a developer advocate, said in a blog post:
The contents of these datasets are made available to the public exclusively for educational and research purposes, and the Google Cloud team sincerely hopes that the COVID-19 public data set project will be able to better and faster enable research to stop the spread of the disease.
In addition to the COVID-19 public data set program, Google has made many other efforts to combat the new coronavirus.
For example, Google has donated $800 million in ads and loans to organizations fighting the virus, added new coronavirus cues to Google shortcuts, and partnered with Microsoft and Palantir to work with the National Health Service Health Service) has set up an information distribution desk.
In addition, Google has launched a dedicated page and search portal to sort out resources for COVID-19, and Alphabet, the tech giant’s parent company, has stepped up its disease screening program in the Bay Area.
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