Google Launches COVID-19 Public Datasets Program

Google has announced a COVID-19 Public Datasets program to help combat the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The program gives researchers and educators free access to a hosted repository of public datasets. Datasets come from institutions such as Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE), the Global Health Data from the World Bank, and OpenStreetMap data.

"Data always plays a critical role in the ability to research, study, and combat public health emergencies, and nowhere is this more true than in the case of a global crisis," the Google team commented in a blog post announcement. "Access to data sets—and tools that can analyze that data at cloud scale—are increasingly essential to the research process, and are particularly necessary in the global response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)."

Under the program, Google provides free storage of the datasets. BigQuery can also be used to query the COVID databases. Queries on COVID datasets will not count against the BigQuery free tier. The datasets are hosted like all Google Cloud Public Datasets.

Google is one of many looking to combat the current pandemic through an open-source, data-driven model. Currently, Google anticipates keeping the program free until September 15, 2020. For more information, visit the program site.

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