ARS Technica claims Google may be planning to open all the scientific data it hosts on its servers:
Last year, we reported that Google has been helping scientists distribute large datasets, three terabytes at a time. That's the capacity of the RAID cabinets that Google was shipping—on its dime—to scientists and other researchers that needed to get large volumes of data to other researchers around the world. As we noted, Google was keeping a copy of the data as well; Wired's science blog is claiming that Google is now ready to set the data loose on the public.
According to the report, the data will appear on the company's research page, which currently acts as a host for blogs and videos of talks related to Google's homegrown research efforts. There was no word on when the data will go live, nor which data would be appearing. Google has already helped handle an archive of early data from the Hubble Space Telescope and images of the Archimedes Palimpsest, which contains an early copy of some of the mathematician's writings.
The extremely high-resolution images of the palimpsest at least hint at the interface that will be used for some of the data. According to a report from last year, this data maps nicely onto panning and zooming features of the the Google Maps interface. It's hard to see that working well for the Hubble data, though, as the telescope has probably captured detailed views of only a small fraction of the universe.