Data Is Plural

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

2021.03.24 edition

Mass shootings, food-related GHG emissions, infrastructure spending, NYC’s housing lotteries, and animal lifespans.

Mass shootings, detailed. The Violence Project’s Mass Shooter Database contains extensive details about public mass shootings in the US and their perpetrators, weapons, and victims, with a goal of “finding pathways to prevention.” The database, funded by a National Institute of Justice grant, covers 170+ shootings between 1966 and early 2020. Examples of the variables include: the perpetrator’s employment status, known prejudices, and experience with mental illness; the victims’ relationship to the perpetrator and estimated years of life they lost; and the firearms’ make, model, and method of acquisition. Previously: Data on mass shootings from the Gun Violence Archive and Mother Jones (DIP 2015.12.09).

Food-related GHG emissions. EDGAR-FOOD, a new dataset from European Commission researchers, provides estimates of the global food system’s greenhouse gas emissions, “consistently covering each stage of the food chain for all countries with yearly frequency for the period 1990–2015.” The dataset distinguishes between four kinds of greenhouse and eight stages: “land use/land-use change activities,” production, processing, packaging, transport, retail, consumption, and waste management. Related: Carbon Brief’s coverage of the research. [h/t Duncan Geere]

Infrastructure spending. Researchers from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis have constructed a dataset of government investment in basic, social, and digital infrastructure from 1947 to 2017, using data from the agency’s National Economic Accounts. The investment amounts are broken down by subcategory (water, sewer, power, transportation, education, public safety, healthcare, etc.) and ownership (federal, state/local, or private). [h/t Donald Schneider]

NYC’s housing lotteries. New York City’s affordable housing lotteries receive hundreds of applications per available unit. For an investigation into the odds, reporters for The City last year obtained and analyzed data on 426 lotteries from 2014 to 2019 (including building locations, unit sizes, monthly rents, and income thresholds), plus basic information (on income and household size) from more than 20 million lottery applications. [h/t Ann Choi]

Animal lifespans. AnAge is “a curated database of ageing and life history in animals, including extensive longevity records.” Part of a broader project on the genetics of human ageing, the database contains 4,200+ species, from the aardvark to the ziege. Where available, it lists maximum lifespans, average gestation times, typical litter sizes, and more. [h/t Xan Gregg]