Data Is Plural

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

2016.07.06 edition

Public policy, nursing homes, Russian election results, NYC property taxes, and lasers.

Public Policy. The Correlates of State Policy Project aims to become a “one-stop shop” for data related to public policy in America’s 50 states. So far, the project is tracking 700+ aspects of each state’s laws, budgets, demographics, and more. Among the policy variables: Can pharmacies dispense emergency contraception without a prescription?Does the state ban corporal punishment in schools? and Does the state have an endangered species act? Don’t miss the codebook, which describes the data and sources in greater detail. Related: State and Local Public Policies in the United States, a similar project, for which an update to include 2014 data is “underway.” [h/t Rob Gillezeau]

Nursing homes. Last month, German investigative nonprofit Correctiv published a searchable database of 13,000 nursing homes in the country. The data are based on government inspections, and the reporters have published the raw and processed data on GitHub. Related: ProPublica’s searchable database of nursing homes in the United States and the Medicare’s nursing home data. [h/t Sandhya Kambhampati]

Russian election results. In a recently-updated paper, three academics say they’ve found “convincing evidence of election fraud” in federal Russian elections since 2004. To support their analyses, the researchers have published the underlying data, which includes polling station data from seven Russian elections (as well as one Polish and one Spanish election, which showed no such signs of fraud). Related: WSJ analysis of Russian parliamentary election “points to widespread fraud” (2012). [h/t Arthur Bashlykov]

NYC property taxes and exemptions. Property tax data in New York City is technically available to the public, but the city makes it difficult to access. So a pair of civic hackers liberated the data. Now you can download 1.1 million rows of bulk data, which details each property’s type, assessed value, taxes due, owner’s name, and more. You can also download 750,000 rows of tax exemptions and abatements. Related:A Look at NYC’s $650 Million Property Tax Breaks Related to Religion

You shouldn’t point lasers at airplanes. And yet, people do… by the thousands. In 2005, the Federal Aviation Administration created a system for pilots to report “laser events,” which it says can temporarily blind crewmembers. The administration has published five years of data from the reporting system. In 2014, the most recent year available, pilots reported 3,894 laser beamings. The vast majority involved a green beam, and none were reported to have caused an injury.