Data Is Plural

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

2017.04.05 edition

NYC in 3D, cherry blossoms, sovereign bond holdings, NSF grants, and avian invasions.

3D NYC. In 2014, the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications conducted a massive aerial survey of the city. Then, they converted the images and data they collected into a three-dimensional model of every building in all five boroughs. Related: In December, The New York Times used the data to map the city’s shadows. Also related: Berlin, the Hague, and Lyon offer digital 3D models of their cities, too. Previously: LiDAR-powered elevation data from around the world (May 25, 2016). [h/t Dan Nguyen]

Cherry blossoms. Yasuyuki Aono, an associate professor at Osaka Prefecture University, has collected the historical flowering dates of Kyoto’s Prunus jamasakura cherry trees going all the way back to the 9th century. The dataset is based on “many diaries and chronicles written by Emperors, aristocrats, [governors] and monks,” Aono writes. The dates are those “on which cherry blossom viewing parties had been held or full flowerings had been observed.” Over the past century, Kyoto’s cherry trees have been blooming earlier and earlier. Related: @bbgblossoms, a Twitter bot that tracks the status of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 152 cherry trees. [h/t Eric Steig]

Government bond ownership. Bruegel, “a European think tank that specialises in economics,” publishes a quarterly-updated dataset quantifying sovereign bond holdings for 12 countries: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the U.K., and the United States. For each country, the dataset tells you what proportion of the federal government’s bonds are held by each of five types of owners: the country’s central bank, other public institutions, domestic banks, other domestic investors, and foreign investors. [h/t @CoolDatasets]

Science grants. The National Science Foundation publishes data on all of the grants the agency has awarded since the 1970s (and some earlier ones, too). Each grant is represented as an XML file, which contains information about the project, the awardee, and the NSF division that awarded the grant. [h/t France A. Córdova]

Avian invasions. In peer-reviewed paper published last week, a trio of University College London researchers describe their Global Avian Invasions Atlas. The dataset includes information on “971 species, introduced to 230 countries and administrative areas across all eight biogeographical realms, spanning the period 6000 BCE – AD 2014.”