Data Is Plural

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

2021.01.13 edition

Electoral attitudes, fishing activity, Bundestag writings, innovation licensing, and chess puzzles.

Electoral attitudes. The Comparative National Elections Project “is a partnership among scholars who have conducted election surveys on five continents,” with a focus on understanding the factors that shape voters’ decisions. The project’s publicly-available datasets include 48 of the surveys, which use a combination of country-specific questions and shared questionnaire — asking about political news consumption, attitudes towards democracy, interpersonal communications, and other topics. Related: The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, a similar collaboration with “a special emphasis on voting and turnout.” [h/t Erik Gahner Larsen]

Fishing activity. Global Fishing Watch — initially organized as a collaboration between conservationists and Google — uses satellite imagery, ship signals, and other sources “to visualise, track and share data about global fishing activity in near real-time and for free.” The project’s public datasets (free registration required) examine various aspects of the industry, including the geography of “fishing effort” (2012–16) and transshipment between vessels. As seen in: “Why the U.K. and EU Are Fighting Over Fish” (Bloomberg). [h/t Nathan Yau]

Bundestag writings. Political scientists Corinna Kroeber and Tobias Remschel have compiled a dataset of “all written communication published by the German Bundestag between 1949 and 2017,” unifying datasets released by Germany’s parliament “in a manner easily accessible to researchers applying text analysis.” For each of the 131,835 reports, requests, bills, and other documents, the dataset provides the full text, date, author information, and more. Previously: Six million parliamentary speeches from nine countries (DIP 2020.04.29.

Innovation licensing. Government agencies often commercialize their innovations through “technology transfer” programs, which strike collaboration and licensing agreements with outside parties. NASA provides a technology transfer API for accessing data about its patent portfolio and software catalog; the National Institutes of Health offers a similar API for querying its licensing opportunities. [h/t Tom Folkes]

Chess puzzles. Lichess is a free, open-source, donation-supported chess server. Its team publishes a database of the rated matches played on its platform (more than 1.7 billion so far, since 2013), which it recently used to revamp its dataset of original chess puzzles. Previously: Chess games from high-level players and tournaments (DIP 2016.02.17).