Data Is Plural

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

2020.07.22 edition

Police surveillance tech, COVID-related behavior, the Mexican Migration Project, the Arctic seafloor, and the Big Mac Index.

Police surveillance tech. The Atlas of Surveillance, a new project from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, documents various types of surveillance technology used by 3,500 law enforcement agencies around the US. The 5,300 data-points, crowdsourced with the help of hundreds of students and volunteers, cover a dozen categories of technology, such as automated license plate readers, facial recognition systems, and partnerships with doorbell camera–companies. [h/t anigbrowl]

COVID-related behavior. Since early April, Imperial College London and YouGov have been surveying people in 29 countries about their coronavirus-related behaviors and opinions. Topics include mask usage, self-isolation, working from home, vaccinations, and economic activity; the 230,000+ (anonymized) responses are available to download. [h/t Akin Unver]

Mexican migration to the US. The Mexican Migration Project “was created in 1982 by an interdisciplinary team of researchers to further our understanding of the complex process of Mexican migration to the United States.” Since then, the project — co-directed by professors at the University of Guadalajara and Princeton University — has interviewed more than 176,000 people from 170 communities in Mexico, some who migrated and others who did not. The datasets (registration required) record various facets of their lives and migrations: demographic, health, and economic attributes; migration timings, circumstances, and destinations; community characteristics; and more. [h/t Brian K. Kovak and Rebecca Lessem]

The Arctic seafloor. The General Bathymetric Chart of the Ocean project has published a new version of its Arctic Ocean depth chart, which was first released in 1997 and last updated in 2012. The latest dataset incorporates new sources, has “more than twice the resolution” as the previous version, and is more precise. Previously: Arctic (and Antarctic) ice coverage (DIP 2016.09.14), which is hitting year-over-year lows.

The Big Mac Index. The Economist’s Big Mac Index, which the magazine invented in 1986, compares the cost of the signature McDonald’s hamburger around the world. “Burgernomics was never intended as a precise gauge of currency misalignment, merely a tool to make exchange-rate theory more digestible,” it says. “Yet the Big Mac index has become a global standard, included in several economic textbooks and the subject of dozens of academic studies.” The index is updated twice a year (including last week) and now covers 55 countries; both the data (going back to April 2000) and calculation code are available to download.