Data Is Plural

... is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.

2015.11.04 edition

Maternity leave policies, MoMA artworks, firearm dealers, New Guinea languages, and airplane-wildlife collisions.

Maternity leave policies at hundreds of American companies. The 600+ entries in this searchable, sortable database range from 3M to Amazon to Zynga, and list both paid and unpaid leave. The database, run by the women-in-the-workplace website, culls from published policies and employee tips. An introductory blog post provides more information.

MoMA, mo’ data. This July, the Museum of Modern Art published a dataset containing 120,000 artworks from its catalog, joining the UK’s Tate, the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt, and other forward-thinking museums. The MoMA data contains the names of the artwork and artist, the dates created and acquired, and the medium — but no images. Related: Artist Jer Thorp encourages you to “perform” the data. Also related: Every museum in the United States. [h/t Nadja Popovich]

All licensed firearm dealers since 2010. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives publishes a searchable and downloadable licensing database. License-holders fall into nine categories; the database includes eight. Among them: run-of-the-mill dealers, ammunition manufacturers, and importers of “destructive devices.” (It does not include collectors of “curios and relics.”) The ATF’s website contains monthly and state-by-state archives. [h/t Marc DaCosta]

One thousand ways to say “dog.” Trans-New Guinea is the world’s third-largest language family. But it’s also among the poorest-studied., an online database launched in 2013, is trying to change that. It now contains more than 1,000 New Guinea languages and lists 145,000 word translations — including 1,065 entries for “dog.” It even has an API. A recent PLOS ONE journal article provides additional background and statistics. [h/t Simon J. Greenhill]

When planes attack. Last May, a Gulfstream G150 taking off from Houston’s Ellington Airport struck an armadillo. The animal’s remains were collected, but were not sent to the Smithsonian Institution for identification. This anecdote comes from a single row in the Federal Aviation Administration’s Wildlife Strike Database, and draws on just seven of the 94 available fields. The database contains more than 168,000 strikes reported since 1990, almost all involving birds. Roughly 10% of the time, the animal’s remains are sent to the Smithsonian’s Feather Identification Lab. [h/t Dan Vergano]

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