Data Is Plural

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

2019.03.06 edition

Last words, crops, international students, school dress codes, and bird eggs.

Last words. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice publishes a list of each death row inmate executed since 1982 — the year the state resumed capital punishment. In addition to providing basic demographic information, the listing also links to transcriptions of the inmates’ final statements. And although state doesn’t provide the statements as structured data, Zi Chong Kao has created a spreadsheet of of them (plus additional details extracted from the state’s website) for his interactive tutorial, Select Star SQL. Related:‘Love’ Is the Most Common Word in Death Row Last Statements” (Will Young, Oct. 2018). [h/t Noah Veltman]

Crops. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s CropScape website provides interactive access to the agency’s Cropland Data Layer — “a raster, geo-referenced, crop-specific land cover data layer created annually for the continental United States using moderate resolution satellite imagery and extensive agricultural ground truth.” You can use CropScape to filter the data’s acreage estimates (for more than a hundred different crops) by state, county, or custom-drawn geographies — or download the complete data in bulk. [h/t Katie McGaughey]

International students. The UNESCO Institute of Statistics compiles data on “internationally mobile” university students, including annual numbers of students by country of origin and country of study. Related: UNESCO’s interactive map of student flows. [h/t Francisco Marmolejo]

School dress codes. For a recent article in The Pudding, Amber Thomas and two data assistants “recorded every rule listed in each dress code” at 481 public high schools in 36 states, plus “the words used in the dress code’s rationale, as well as any listed sanctions for breaking the dress code.” The 15,000+ rules and 1,470 sanctions are available to download.

Bird eggs. A few years ago, a team of scientists examined the shapes of 49,000 bird eggs belonging to 1,400 different species. You can download their calculations of each species’ average egg length, asymmetry, and ellipticity, which formed the basis of a graphics-forward article in Science Magazine. [h/t Sophie Warnes]