Data Is Plural

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

2019.08.07 edition

Opioids, federal judges, sub-Saharan public health facilities, icebergs, and state liquor prices.

Opioid distribution. The Washington Post and the Charleston Gazette-Mail recently won a year-long legal battle to obtain a large slice of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s data on opioid shipments. (The data had previously been provided to plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit, but a judge had sealed the records from public access.) The Post has begun publishing its findings, as well as a cleaned-up version of the dataset that focuses on “shipments of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills to chain pharmacies, retail pharmacies and practitioners” between 2006 and 2012. The raw, unsealed dataset is also available. Related: A 500-row subset, so you can see what the data looks like before downloading the large files.

Federal judges. The government-run Federal Judicial Center publishes a daily-updated “biographical directory” of all judges who’ve served on federal courts — the Supreme Court, appellate courts, district courts, the bygone circuit courts, plus a few others. The directory is presented as structured data, and includes information on the judges’ demographics, educations, professional careers, nominations and more. Related: The University of South Carolina’s Judicial Research Initiative also maintains historical datasets of district and appellate court judges; they contain many of the same variables plus some extras, such as religion and estimated net worth. [h/t Dan Nguyen + Sergio Galletta, Elliott Ash, and Daniel L. Chen]

Hospitals, from Angola to Zimbabwe. An international team of researchers has compiled a “comprehensive spatial inventory” of nearly 100,000 public health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. The dataset includes facilities in 50 countries and lists each facility’s name, country, administrative region, type, ownership, and coordinates. [h/t Karen Grepin]

Antarctic icebergs. Brigham Young University’s Antarctic Iceberg Tracking Database provides surveillance on hundreds of floating hunks of ice, past and present. The records cover 1978 plus 1992 through mid-2019; a subset of the database lists 117 icebergs’ daily position, estimated size, and rotation angle. [h/t Robin Hawkes]

State liquor prices. About a third of US states hold a monopoly on the local sale of hard liquor. Some of them — including Virginia, Alabama, Michigan, Utah, and North Carolina — let you download their price lists as spreadsheets. [h/t Christopher Ingraham]