Online Tool Could Aid Global Collaboration

Jessica Hamzelou | SciDev.Net | July 4, 2009

Google has launched a new online tool enabling free data-sharing that could aid with international scientific research collaborations. The tool, Fusion Tables — launched on the Google Labs website — allows tables of data to be visualised as charts, graphs and maps, which can help identify patterns and trends.

Users are able upload their data and make the information freely available to anyone, opening up possibilities for collaboration. The Pacific Institute, an environmental research organisation, is already using the tool. Together with media network Circle of Blue they have provided free international access to global freshwater data.

Alon Halevy, senior engineer at Google Labs, told SciDev.Net: "We wanted to make it easier for people to share their data, to save it and make it searchable on the web … We want to unlock data from its current repositories and let more people get value out of it."