In 2016 Google released Quick, Draw!, a digital version of pictionary that uses machine learning to guess what users are drawing in their browser. Google is now providing the entire data set behind this algorithm as an open source API, allowing developers to research the way people draw.
The new Node.js API uses Google Cloud Endpoints and provides access to data from over 1 billion drawings across 345 categories. Much of the data had already been released to researchers as downloadable content, but Nick Jonas, creative technologist at Google’s Creative Lab told VentureBeat that:
“A lot of these studies that have been done over the past year are large analyses on the entire dataset. We got some feedback from developers who said they wanted an easier way to prototype with the data quickly.”
The Quick, Draw! API returns either a JSON object, or an HTML canvas rendering for drawings. The data provided has allowed researchers to make some interesting observations, including that 86 percent of U.S. players drew circles counterclockwise, while 80 percent of Japanese drew them clockwise.