April 24, 2020
As part of a larger NSF IUCRC Spatiotemporal Innovation Center’s project to develop a Spatial Data Lab platform, the CGA has been collaborating with China Data Institute, a sponsoring member of the IUCRC based in Michigan, to build a resource collection for COVID-19 research since January. The effort is called Resources for Novel Coronavirus Global Research, and has attracted more collaborators from several universities around the globe, including George Mason University in Virginia and Wuhan University in China. The essence is to provide COVID-19 related data and analytical tools on virtual desktops, offer accounts to vetted researchers to login, use the data, contribute more data, use the tools (GIS, statistics, etc.), create analytical workflows (for easy execution), share both data and workflow for others to replicate and expand on, thus quickly produce results for visualization, publication, education, etc. The platform is hosted on various clouds (research clouds at Harvard’s FASRC and that of George Mason University which support big data analytics using OmniSci and other tools, as well as donated commercial clouds from Amazon and Microsoft). Publishable data is shared on Harvard Dataverse, and restricted data is on the Spatial Data Lab platform behind login. Data content of the repository includes China daily cases, US daily cases, World daily cases, population mobility, health facilities, climate, policy and regulations, global news, social media, social-economics, and published articles. As of April 21, 2020, there have been over 30,000 data file downloads from over 120 countries.