Data Is Plural

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

2021.05.05 edition

Historical land use, union election results, peace mission mandates, Federal Reserve Bank directors, and television castaways.

Historical land use. The History Database of the Global Environment, a project of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, provides land use estimates that span 12,000 years — from 10,000 BCE to the near-present. The datasets include gridded, country-level, and regional estimates of cropland, pasture, grazing areas, and other typologies over time. Related: Clio Infra gathers “worldwide data on social, economic, and institutional indicators for the past five centuries,” including estimates of cropland, livestock, metal production, and more. [h/t Cédric Scherer + u/cavedave]

Union election results. The US National Labor Relations Board publishes a searchable and downloadable database that details the results of thousands of union elections the agency has conducted, going back more than a decade. The records list the employer name and location, tally date and type, petitioned-for employee unit, proposed labor union(s), number of votes for and against those union(s), and more. [h/t Cory McCartan]

Peace mission mandates. A team led by political scientist Sara Hellmüller has categorized the “evolving mandate tasks” of all 121 United Nations peace missions between 1991 and 2020. The dataset identifies 41 kinds of tasks, which it sorts into three categories: “minimalist,” “moderate,” and “maximalist.” Minimalist tasks “reflect an approach that contents itself with absence of armed conflict,” while the maximalist approach “seeks to address root causes,” such as by supporting military reform and women’s rights. Previously: Official UN peacekeeping data and the Geocoded Peacekeeping Operations dataset (DIP 2019.11.27). [h/t Roland Paris]

Federal Reserve Bank directors. To examine diversity in the US Federal Reserve System, a team led by central bank–watchers Peter Conti-Brown and Kaleb Nygaard has compiled a biographical dataset of the nearly 2,000 people who have served as directors of the system’s twelve Reserve Banks between 1914 and 2019. The dataset expands the information available in official reports to include “race, gender, profession, education, age, time spent in position, and whether or not the directors later held a position on the FOMC.”

Television castaways. Statistician Dan Oehm has constructed a dataset describing all 40 US seasons of Survivor, providing details on every contestant, challenge winner, individual vote, episode viewership, and more. You can access the data as an R package or an Excel file. [h/t u/antirabbit]