Data Is Plural

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

2019.09.25 edition

District court decisions, geo-linked India data, colonies, more building outlines, and UK noise pollution.

District court decisions. The Carp-Manning U.S. District Court Database provides “data on 110,000+ decisions by federal district court judges handed down from 1927 to 2012.” It includes details of each case (such as the issue area and jurisdiction), each judge (year appointed, gender, race, and political party), and whether the decision was “liberal” or “conservative.” Previously: Federal judges’ data-biographies (DIP 2019.08.07). [h/t Scott Hofer and Jason Casellas]

India, geo-linked. The Socioeconomic High-resolution Rural-Urban Geographic Platform for India is “an open access repository currently comprising dozens of datasets covering India’s 500,000 villages and 8,000 towns.” To make the datasets work well together, the project uses a common set of IDs for each town, village, and constituency. The downloadable files (free registration required) include data from censuses, elections, road construction, and more. Related: Introductory tweets from co-creator Paul Novosad.

Colonies. Political science professor Jack Paine has compiled a dataset of 144 territories colonized by Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the United States, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand during the 16th through 20th centuries. The dataset includes the year of colonization, year of independence, and various metrics related to the colonies’ legislature and suffrage.

Kiwi and Canadian building outlines. Microsoft has released a dataset describing the geometric footprints of 12 million buildings in Canada, as detected by a neural network analyzing satellite imagery. (Last year, the company published similar data for the United States.) And the government of New Zealand has published building-outline data for most of the country. It’s based on aerial imagery, “using a combination of automated and manual processes,” and comes with detailed documentation. [h/t Michael McLaughlin + Robin Hawkes]

UK noise pollution. In 2012, the British government collected noise-level data from across the country and throughout London, including average daytime and nighttime loudness. [h/t Giuseppe Sollazzo]