Data Is Plural

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

2022.04.13 edition

Constitutions, EU asylum, critical infrastructure density, Brazilian news outlets, and carnivore diets.

Constitutions. The Comparative Constitutions Project, a nonprofit originally launched at the University of Illinois in 2005, “produces comprehensive data about the world’s constitutions.” Its downloadable datasets cover both chronology (years of creation, amendment, dissolution, and other events from 1789 to 2019) and characteristics (hundreds of variables on topics ranging from citizenship and electoral oversight to whether the text discusses a national flag or motto). A sibling site, Constitute, provides annotated text of all national constitutions currently in force, as well as Linked Data files and an API. As seen in: André Borges’s dataset tracking presidential powers in 79 democracies with elected presidents. [h/t Florian Hollenbach]

EU asylum. The European Union requires members to submit a range of asylum-related figures to Eurostat, which it then compiles into standardized datasets. These include monthly and annual counts of asylum applications submitted, pending, withdrawn, processed under the EU’s “accelerated procedure,” and filed by unaccompanied minors, disaggregated by age, sex, and citizenship. As seen in: “Europe welcomes Ukrainian refugees with an asylum system that averages more than 15 months of delay,” published by, with data and an Observable notebook. [h/t Giuseppe Sollazzo]

Critical infrastructure density. Sadhana Nirandjan et al. have developed “a first-of-its-kind globally harmonized spatial dataset” representing the density of critical infrastructure, built with OpenStreetMap data (and noting its limitations). The researchers selected 39 kinds of structures (railways, landfills, pharmacies, etc.), grouped into seven categories: education, energy, health, telecommunication, transportation, waste, and water. Then they calculated those categories’ concentrations at 0.10°- and 0.25°-grid resolutions. Previously: US infrastructure, from the Department of Homeland Security (DIP 2016.03.02). [h/t Arthur Turrell]

Brazilian news outlets. Atlas da Notícia (⎘English homepage) aims to catalog Brazil’s print, online, television, and radio news outlets. Created by the Instituto para o Desenvolvimento do Jornalismo and Volt Data Lab, the dataset’s 14,000+ entries list each outlet’s name, medium, distribution frequency, municipality, state, open/closed status, and (in some cases) approximate staff size. [h/t Marcelo Fontoura + Sérgio Spagnuolo]

Carnivore diets. Owen Middleton et al.’s CarniDIET 1.0 provides “data on the diet compositions for 103 species of terrestrial, carnivorous mammals from (mostly) peer-reviewed scientific papers.” Each of its 29,000+ rows represents a “diet record,” describing a component of the species’ consumption, for a particular population, geography, and study. [h/t finphil]