Data Is Plural

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

2020.07.29 edition

COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, NYPD officer misconduct, thousands of political polls, territorial self-governance, and meteorite landings.

COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. The Milken Institute’s FasterCures project is tracking hundreds of potential COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. For each candidate, the project’s database lists its category (e.g., DNA-based vaccines, cell-based therapies, et cetera), a brief description, its stage of development, “anticipated next steps,” funders, and more. Related: The project’s interactive graphic exploring the vaccines.

NYPD officer misconduct. ProPublica has published a dataset of more than 12,000 civilian complaints against nearly 4,000 NYPD officers. The reporters obtained the data through a freedom-of-information request to New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, after state lawmakers overturned a decades-old statute that had shielded the records. ProPublica’s database “lists the name of each officer, the race of the complainant and the officer, a category describing the alleged misconduct, and whether the CCRB concluded the officers’ conduct violated NYPD rules.” Related: In 2018, my colleagues Kendall Taggart and Mike Hayes obtained thousands of NYPD disciplinary records from a source who requested anonymity — giving the public access to this closely-guarded information for the first time and demonstrating how the department had let hundreds of officers keep their jobs after committing fireable offenses. (Soon after, the NYPD announced an independent panel to review its disciplinary program.) [h/t Jan Willem Tulp + Ed Vine]

US political polls. FiveThirtyEight’s frequently-updated polling database provides results from thousands of polls (and hundreds of pollsters) on the current presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections. Those datasets — plus historical polling averages for presidential elections since 1980 — are available to download. The files list each poll’s sample size, methods, timeframe, FiveThirtyEight pollster rating, and more.

Territorial self-governance. Christoph Trinn and Felix Schulte’s TERRGO dataset presents “a fresh look at territorial self-governance in more than 2,200 second-level regions in 96 Western and non-Western democracies, semi-democracies, and a selection of autocratic regimes between 2000 and 2018.” For each region (for instance, Guam or Greenland), TERRGO provides several self-governance metrics, such as whether the national constitution protects the its status and to what degree it can set taxes.

Meteorite landings. The Meteoritical Society’s Meteoritical Bulletin Database “is a clearinghouse for basic information about each meteorite, including the classification, place and year of discovery, whether if was observed to fall, references to catalogues in which the meteorite is described, and known synonyms that may be encountered in the literature.” The society doesn’t provide an easy way to download the full database, but NASA’s open data portal hosts a key slice of it — 45,000+ landings recorded through mid-2013. Related: Craig Taylor’s animated, 3-D rendering of the data. [h/t EwanP]