Data Is Plural

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

2021.10.13 edition

Abortion policies, hourly weather, deployment votes, mask diplomacy, and bird food.

Abortion policies. The World Health Organization’s Global Abortion Policies Database is “designed to strengthen global efforts to eliminate unsafe abortion by producing an interactive open-access database and repository of current abortion laws, policies, and national standards and guidelines.” The project uses an extensive questionnaire to categorize dozens of regulatory factors for each country; the findings can be queried online, or downloaded as a spreadsheet. The Center for Reproductive Rights’ World Abortion Laws Map groups countries into five categories of restrictiveness, and also indicates the types of laws in effect. The map’s data is available as a JSON file. As seen in: “How abortion laws in the U.S. compare to those in other countries” (Washington Post). [h/t Nathan Yau]

Hourly weather. NOAA’s Integrated Surface Database, launched two decades ago, combines point-in-time weather observations from 100+ sources, collected at 35,000+ stations around the world, 14,000+ of which are still active. The measurements can include “wind speed and direction, wind gust, temperature, dew point, cloud data, sea level pressure, altimeter setting, station pressure, present weather, visibility, precipitation amounts for various time periods, snow depth” and more. Related: An Observable notebook for previewing and downloading data from ISDLite, NOAA’s simpler version of the larger database. [h/t Ian Johnson]

Deployment votes. The Parliamentary Deployment Votes Database gathers information about national parliaments and legislatures voting on the deployment or withdrawal of military forces. It lists the date, name, and chamber of each vote; the mission name and area of deployment; the number of members voting in favor, against, and abstaining; and other details. The collaborative project’s latest release includes 1,000+ votes in 21 countries from 1990 to 2019, plus 5,500+ counts disaggregated by political party.

Mask diplomacy. Political scientists Diego Telias and Francisco Urdinez have collected and mapped data on 530+ donations of face masks, respirators, COVID-19 tests, and other pandemic-related supplies from entities in China and Taiwan to 33 countries Latin America and the Caribbean in early 2020. The dataset indicates the donor, recipient, date, and equipment types, amounts, and estimated value. Read more: Telias and Urdinez’s preprint analyzing the data.

Bird food. Allen H. Hurlbert et al.’s Avian Diet Database contains “73,075 quantitative diet data records for 759 primarily North American bird species, providing standardized information not just on the diet itself, but on the context for that diet information including the year, season, location, and habitat type of each study.” You can explore it online, download it, and access it as an R package.