Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Google facilitates data sharing

Darren Waters, Google helps terabyte data swaps, BBC News, March 7, 2007.  Excerpt:

Google is developing a program to help academics around the world exchange huge amounts of data.

The firm's open source team is working on ways to physically transfer huge data sets up to 120 terabytes in size.

"We have started collecting these data sets and shipping them out to other scientists who want them," said Google's Chris DiBona.

Google sends scientists a hard drive system and then copies it before passing it on to other researchers....

"We have a number of machines about the size of brick blocks, filled with hard drives.

"We send them out to people who copy the data on them and ship them back to us. We dump them on to one of our data systems and ship it out to people."

Google keeps a copy and the data is always in an open format, or in the public domain or perhaps covered by a creative commons license....

One of the largest data sets copied and distributed was data from the Hubble telescope - 120 terabytes of data. One terabyte is equivalent to 1,000 gigabytes.

Mr DiBona said he hoped that Google could one day make the data available to the public....