Data Is Plural

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

2019.08.14 edition

The London Stage, airports and runways, black tech conferences, European electricity, and TED talks.

140 years of London theatre. The London Stage Database “is the latest in a long line of projects that aim to capture and present the rich array of information available on the theatrical culture of London, from the reopening of the public playhouses following the English civil wars in 1660 to the end of the eighteenth century.” The database contains information on more than 50,000 events, which you can search online and download in bulk, and are often supplemented with detailed notes and cast lists. The site also offers a user guide and a detailed explanation of the data’s provenance. (“We hope that visitors to the site will find this frank acknowledgment and foregrounding of the dataset’s history and limitations refreshing rather than frustrating.”) [h/t Ula Klein]

Airports and runways. OurAirports, a community-assisted project that began in 2007, provides bulk data detailing 55,000+ airports and 41,000+ runways, plus listings of airport radio frequencies and global navigation aids. In addition to standard airports, the records include 23 balloonports, 1,000+ seaplane bases, and 11,000+ heliports. Related:How we created a map of the global architecture of airport runways, which turned out to be a wind map.” [h/t Robin Hawkes]

Black tech conferences. ThePLUG, a news site that reports on the black innovation economy, has been collecting data on conferences for black tech professionals. The dataset currently contains 33 events in more than a dozen cities, and lists their costs, year started, contact information, sponsors, and more. [h/t Sherrell Dorsey]

European electricity. The Open Power System Data platform has aggregated energy data from across Europe into a series of standardized datasets, including electricity consumption, power plants, and generation capacity. The project has also published an “IT philosophy,” a guide for new users, and a detailed listing of primary sources.

TED talks. Katherine M. Kinnaird and John Laudun — professors whose research includes cultural analytics and computational folklore studies — have created a dataset of 2,656 TED talks, with metadata and transcripts, and have published a detailed description of the project. [h/t Lynn Cherny]