Data Is Plural

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

2018.08.22 edition

Political ads, healthcare service indicators, natural disaster imagery, Harris polls, and denim pockets.

Political ads online. Google recently launched a database of political ads “that have appeared on Google and partner properties.” The searchable and downloadable dataset indicates the organization that paid for each advertisement, approximately how much they spent, how long the ad ran, what demographics were used for targeting, and roughly how many people it reached. A few months ago, Facebook launched a similar initiative, but you need to logged in to view it and you can’t download the data. You can, however, get Facebook political-advertising data from at least two sources: A repository of 267,000 ads scraped from Facebook’s official archive by NYU researchers, and ProPublica’s ongoing, detailed database of ads and targeting parameters gathered through their Political Ad Collector. [h/t Sheera Frenkel]

Healthcare service in Africa. The African Economic Research Consortium, African Development Bank, and the World Bank have partnered to create the Service Delivery Indicators program — ”a new Africa-wide initiative” that dispatches teams of surveyors “to gauge the quality of service delivery in basic health services” across the continent. The initiative’s de-identified data contains results for nine countries so far, including assessments of facility infrastructure, worker absenteeism, and patient case simulations. [h/t Matthew Collin]

Natural disaster satellite imagery. DigitalGlobe’s open data program publishes georeferenced satellite imagery from before and after major natural disasters. The archive currently includes a couple dozen events, including recent flooding in Kerala and California’s Carr Wildfire and Mendocino Complex Fire. Previously: NOAA’s emergency response aerial imagery (DIP 2017.09.20). [h/t Laura Noren and Brad Stenger]

Half a century of opinions. The University of North Carolina’s Louis Harris Data Center serves as “the national depository for publicly available survey data collected by Louis Harris and Associates, Inc.” The online depository contains more than 1,000 Harris polls, some from as early 1958. In total, they include “160,000 questions asked of more than 1,200,000 respondents.” [h/t Xan Gregg]

Jeans pockets. Jan Diehm and Amber Thomas measured the pockets of 80 pairs of jeans — four pairs each from 20 brands, half marketed to men and the other half to women. Their findings “confirmed what every woman already knows to be true: women’s pockets are ridiculous.” In fact, “on average, the pockets in women’s jeans are 48% shorter and 6.5% narrower than men’s pockets.” For each pair of jeans, the duo’s underlying dataset contains the front and back pocket dimensions, material composition, retail price, and more.