Data Is Plural

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

2017.02.15 edition

Volunteer weather reports, museum-worthy images, clinical trials, mood swings, and student athletes.

Volunteer weather reports. The National Weather Service’s Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) is a 127-year-old network of volunteer weather observers. “More than 8,700 volunteers take observations on farms, in urban and suburban areas, National Parks, seashores, and mountaintops,” according to the NWS. Want to become a volunteer? Because the program is so old, “many areas already have the necessary stations operating,” but “about 200 observers resign each year, about 4 per state.” While you’re waiting, you can download the COOP data from Iowa State University. [h/t Bill Frischling]

Museum-worthy images. Last week, the Metropolitan Museum of Art made 375,000 images free to use, remix, and share under a Creative Commons Zero license. The museum also publishes bulk metadata on more than 420,000 pieces of art; that file indicates whether a given artwork is in the public domain, and hence whether the images fall under the new license. You can also search the images here. Other museums providing open-access imagery include the National Gallery of Art, the Getty, and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Previously: Mo’ museum metadata (Nov. 4, 2015). [h/t Joshua Barone + Sarah Bond]

Clinical trials. The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative — a public-private partnership of more than 80 organizations — upgraded its clinical trials database late last month. The relational database, called the Aggregate Analysis of (AACT), contains “all information (protocol and result data elements) about every study registered” through that titular government website. The AACT data is well-documented and accessible both via download and remote database connection. also publishes the underlying data itself, but as one big XML file.

Mood swings. From the Journal of Open Psychology Data: “We present a dataset of a single (N=1) participant diagnosed with major depressive disorder, who completed 1,478 measurements over the course of 239 consecutive days in 2012 and 2013.” The “participant” happens to be one of the study’s authors — Peter C. Groot, a researcher at Maastricht University Medical Centre. Each day, he recorded the degree to which “I feel relaxed,” “I feel lonely,” “I worry,” and responses to dozens of other prompts. [h/t Sacha Epskamp]

Student athletes. The NCAA publishes data on its student athletes’ academic progress and graduation rates. The numbers are aggregated by school and sport — from baseball, to women’s bowling, to mixed rifle. [h/t Albert Bowden]