Data Is Plural

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

2018.01.24 edition

Global trade dynamics, financial well-being, remoteness, Greek life at Duke, and instant ramen ratings.

Global trade dynamics. The Atlas of Economic Complexity has collected decades of import/export data from the United Nations Comtrade database, and then applied “a unique method to clean the data to account for inconsistent reporting practices.” You can download the raw data, learn more about the cleaning process in the FAQ, explore current and historical trade flows, and browse the Atlas’s rankings of countries by “economic complexity.” Related: The researchers have also created regionally-detailed economic atlases of Mexico and Columbia. [h/t Annie White]

Financial well-being. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s National Financial Well-Being Survey collected more than 6,000 responses to the agency’s 10-question Financial Well-Being Scale, plus additional demographic and financial information. The survey results, which were collected in late 2016, come with a detailed methodology and data dictionary. Plus: You can take the questionnaire yourself, anonymously. [h/t Amy Cesal]

How long does it take to get to the nearest city? A team led by researchers at the University of Oxford’s Malaria Atlas Project have estimated the time it would take (as of 2015) to get from any square kilometer in the world to the nearest city of 50,000+ people. The analysis, which improves upon a similar effort from 15 years earlier, benefits from “the first-ever, global-scale synthesis of two leading roads datasets – Open Street Map (OSM) data and distance-to-roads data derived from the Google roads database.” You can download the data as a GeoTIFF, or explore the map online. [h/t Data & Eggs]

Duke’s Greeks. Using a range of public sources, the The Duke Chronicle collected data on all 1,739 students listed in the Class of 2018’s “Freshman Picture Book” — including their hometowns, details about their high schools, whether they won a merit scholarship, and whether they play on a sports team — in order to analyze “trends between those who do and don’t join Greek life at Duke.” Related:Is Greek life at Duke as homogenous as you think?,” the first story in the Chronicle’s multipart series based on the data. [h/t Gautam Hathi]

Ramen ratings. Hans Lienesch calls himself The Ramen Rater, and (as his website’s banner declares) he’s been “Celebrating the Instant Noodle for 15 Years.” Over that time, he’s amassed a spreadsheet of more than 2,600 ratings. [h/t dreyco]