Data Is Plural

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

2021.05.12 edition

Hate groups, law schools, TSA screenings, European cross-border rail, and e.e. cummings.

Hate groups. For decades, the Southern Poverty Law Center has conducted annual censuses of US-based hate groups, which it defines as those with “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” Its 2020 review found 838 such groups — a decline from prior years, which the researchers attribute to several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of difficult-to-track online networks, and “the continuing collapse of the Ku Klux Klan.” The center’s map of 2000–2020 findings links to annual spreadsheets that detail each group’s title, location, and ideology.

Law schools. To receive accreditation from the American Bar Association, law schools must submit a range of data-points about tuition, financial aid, student demographics, class sizes, employment outcomes, and more. The ABA’s disclosure site provides school-level PDF reports, as well as annual spreadsheets comparing all accredited schools since 2011. Related: “There Are Only Two Black Male Prosecutors For All Of Long Island,” a recent Gothamist article that uses the data. [h/t Charles Lane]

TSA screenings. In its FOIA reading room, the US Transportation Security Administration publishes weekly PDF files that indicate the number of people passing through its checkpoints, broken down by hour and location. IT specialist Mike Lorengo has been converting these PDFs into structured data files. Related: The TSA also publishes a table of total “traveler throughput” for each day in 2021, compared to the same weekdays in 2020 and 2019.

European cross-border rail. Drawing from company websites and communications with government railway agencies, OBC Transeuropa’s Gianluca De Feo and Lorenzo Ferrari have identified 271 passenger train routes that cross Europe’s national borders. For each route, their dataset lists its two endpoints, the countries it passes through, route type (high-speed, regional, etc.), operating company, and more. Related: “Four ways of looking at European cross-border rail links,” a follow-up article. [h/t Giuseppe Sollazzo]

Edward Estlin Cummings. The e.e. cummings free poetry archive, launched last week by journalist Ben Welsh, “aims to republish all of the author’s work as it gradually enters the public domain.” So far, it includes more than 100 poems, available to read online and as data files that include each poem’s collection, title, first line, and full text. Read more: Welsh’s introductory Twitter thread, which highlights technical details and volunteer contributions.