Data Is Plural

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

2019.03.27 edition

Special investigations, spring firsts, rebel groups, Antarctic infrastructure, and Uber for X.

Special investigations and charges. FiveThirtyEight has compiled a dataset of all U.S. special counsel, independent counsel, and special prosecutor investigations since 1973 — and the people charged in them. Related: FiveThirtyEight’s visual comparison of the Mueller probe to other investigations. Bonus: FiveThirtyEight’s Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux has also been tracking major lawsuits related to President Trump and his administration; that dataset currently contains 45 civil cases and 6 criminal cases.

Spring firsts. Phenology (literally: “the science of appearance”) is the location-and-species-specific study of recurring plant and animal phenomena, such as the annual arrivals and departures of migratory birds. The USA National Phenology Network collects observational data from thousands of citizen scientists, professional researchers, NGOs, and other groups; assesses the data’s quality; and makes it available to explore and download. Previously: The flowering dates of Kyoto’s Prunus jamasakura cherry trees going back to the 9th century (DIP 2017.04.05). [h/t Greta Kaul]

Rebel groups. “The Foundations of Rebel Group Emergence (FORGE) Dataset examines the roots of rebellion by considering the characteristics and activities of the ‘parent’ organizations from which rebel groups emerged,” plus details such as “the organization’s ‘birthdate’ and founding location, initial goals, ideology, and ethnic/religious foundations.” The new dataset, developed by the University of Arizona’s Jessica Maves Braithwaite and the University of Maryland’s Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, contains 430 rebel groups active between 1946 and 2011. [h/t Jori Breslawski + Michael Poznansky]

Antarctic infrastructure. University of Tasmania Ph.D. candidate Shaun T. Brooks has created a geospatial dataset of “all buildings and disturbance detected across Antarctica, manually digitised from Google Earth images.” The dataset includes research stations, lighthouses, weather stations, historic sites, and more. [h/t Jasmine Lee]

Uber for X. From Alexis C. Madrigal, writing at The Atlantic: “Now, a decade since Uber blazed the trail, and half that since the craze faded, we built a spreadsheet of 105 Uber-for-X companies founded in the United States, representing $7.4 billion in venture-capital investment. We culled from lists, dug in Crunchbase, and pulled from old news coverage. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it is a large sample of the hopes and dreams of the entrepreneurs of the time.”