About Data Commons
Why Data Commons
Many of the big challenges we face — climate change, increasing inequities, epidemics of diabetes and other health conditions — will need deep insights to solve. These insights will need to be firmly grounded in data. Fortunately, a lot of this data is already publicly available. Unfortunately, there is a difference between data being public and data being easily usable by those who need access to it. It is this gap that we are trying to bridge.
Google has organized and made easily accessible many kinds of information — web pages, images, maps, videos and so on. Now we are doing this for publicly available data. We have organized the core of this data from a wide range of sources, ranging from governmental statistical organizations like census bureaus to organizations like the World Bank and the United Nations.
And recent advances in AI have enabled us to go much farther than we had thought possible in making this data easily accessible - now you can use natural language to access the data. Still early days, but I am very bullish on it.
Data Commons synthesizes a single graph from these different data sources. It links references to the same entities (such as cities, counties, organizations, etc.) across different datasets to nodes on the graph, so that users can access data about a particular entity aggregated from different sources without data cleaning or joining. We hope the data contained within Data Commons will be useful to students, researchers, and enthusiasts across different disciplines.
Who can use it?
Data Commons can be accessed by anyone at Datacommons.org! There are tools available for students, researchers, journalists, non profits, policymakers, and private enterprises that allow you to manipulate and make decisions based on data without the need to know how to code. Software developers can use the REST, Python and Google Sheets APIs, all of which are free for educational, academic and journalistic research purposes.
Data Commons has benefited greatly from many collaborations. In addition to help from US Department of Commerce (notably the Census Bureau), we have received help from our many academic collaborations, including, University of California San Francisco, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Harvard University and Indian Institute of Technology Madras. We have also collaborated with nonprofits such as Techsoup, Feeding America, and Resources for the Future.
We are looking for more collaborators, both for adding new data to Data Commons and for building new and interesting applications of Data Commons. Please fill out this form if you are interested in working with us.
Stay in touch
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