Data Is Plural

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

2019.02.13 edition

A forest census, rebels and natural resources, German companies, tobacco laws, and American Ninja Warrior obstacles.

The Census, but for forests. The U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis program tracks “trends in forest area and location; in the species, size, and health of trees; in total tree growth, mortality, and removals by harvest; in wood production and utilization rates by various products; and in forest land ownership.” It also “serves as perhaps the largest publicly available” dataset of “downed and dead wood.” The inventory is available to download and comes with user guides.

Rebel groups and natural resources. The Resources and Conflict Project’s Rebel Contraband Dataset “measures if and how rebel groups earn income from the exploitation of natural resources or criminal activities.” The dataset spans 1990–2015, covers more than 70 countries, and specifies dozens of types of resources — such as oil, cannabis, gold, tea, and timber. [h/t Eric Gahner]

German companies. The Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland and OpenCorporates have partnered to make Germany’s official business register available to download in bulk. The dataset contains basic information about more than 5 million German companies, and more than 4 million associated officers. Note: Although the dataset’s landing page is written in German, its documentation is available in English. Related: Joachim Gassen’s initial analysis of the companies’ locations, using R. [h/t Sharon Machlis]

Two decades of tobacco (and e-cigarette) laws. The CDC’s State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation system tracks “current and historical state-level legislative data on tobacco [and now also e-cigarette] use prevention and control policies.” The system’s datasets provide quarterly snapshots — going back to 1995 — of rules concerning taxes, youth access, licensing, fire safety, and more.

Obstacle courses. Drawing upon a fan wiki, Matt Laessig has created a spreadsheet of all 889 obstacles in the first 10 seasons of American Ninja Warrior. (Free registration required to download.) [h/t Ilan Brat]