Data Is Plural

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

2016.03.02 edition

American infrastructure, British diets, legislative statuses, provincial populations, and filming permits.

American infrastructure. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security published more than 250 infrastructure-related datasets, which had previously been marked as “For Official Use Only.” The release covers a wide range of topics, including datasets on educational facilities, hurricane evacuation routes, poultry slaughterhouses, and sports venues. (According to that dataset, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds more people than any other major sports venue, with a listed capacity of 257,325.) [h/t Michael Keller]

British diets. The UK government has published data on 27 years of food consumption. The National Food Survey datasets are based on “food diaries” recorded by a sample of British families from 1974 to 2000. In addition to tracking food consumption, the data contains details about each household, including whether they kept vegetarian, had a pregnancy, and/or owned a microwave. [h/t Hannah Brooks + Sebastian Gutierrez]

Bills, bills, bills. Congress has finally begun publishing official bulk data on the status of its bills — something open-government advocates had been requesting for more than a decade. The bulk downloads include an XML file for each piece of legislation, with indicators tracking (among other things) committee referrals and actions. Nostalgia: I’m Just A Bill. [h/t Derek Willis]

Provincial populations. National population data is easy to find. But it’s much harder to find reliable, standardized population figures for finer-grained geographies. To that end, the World Bank has launched a pilot of its Subnational Population Database, which calculates estimates for 75 countries’ major provinces/states/regions.

Lights, camera, permit. Through a freedom of information request, WNYC obtained four years of New York City film and television permits. The 40,000+ records date from October 2011 to September 2015 cover several types of permits, including those for scouting, shooting, and red carpet premieres. More: Popular TV shows’ shooting locations, mapped. [h/t John Templon]