Data Is Plural

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

2022.05.04 edition

Wastewater treatment plants, COVID and wastewater, regulatory agencies, NC corporate landlords, and bats in caves.

Wastewater treatment plants. The HydroWASTE dataset, developed by McGill University geographers and engineers, describes 58,000+ wastewater treatment plants around the world and links them to downstream river networks. Compiled from national and regional sources, HydroWASTE lists each facility’s name, country, status, estimated or official population served, geocoordinates, estimated discharge location, level of treatment, volume of discharge, and more. The US accounts for the most entries, with 14,000+, followed by Germany, Italy, France, and Brazil. [h/t Michael F. Meyer + Noemi Vergopolan]

COVID and wastewater, continued. Earlier this year, DIP featured wastewater sampling data from Biobot Analytics, which partners with local governments to monitor SARS-CoV-2 in sewage. Since then, the CDC has launched and expanded a wastewater surveillance module within its COVID data tracker, displaying historically-relative virus concentrations from hundreds of sampling sites that participate in the agency’s National Wastewater Surveillance System; you can also download the data in bulk. Read more: Betsy Ladyzhets, who runs the COVID-19 Data Dispatch (the source of most of the links above), recently examined the state of wastewater monitoring for FiveThirtyEight and interviewed a Twin Cities scientist about it. Also: “The Role of Wastewater Data in Pandemic Management,” a report from The Rockefeller Foundation and partners.

Regulatory agencies. GlobalReg, a research group at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals, studies “the spread of independent regulatory agencies worldwide.” Among its publications: a dataset of 799 such agencies, spanning 100+ countries and 17 sectors. It lists each agency’s name, country, and sector as of 2010; groups each into one of six typological “clusters”; and scores them on political independence, public accountability, managerial autonomy, and regulatory capabilities.

NC corporate landlords. At least 40,000 single-family homes in North Carolina are owned by only roughly 20 investment corporations, according to a new investigation by The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer. In some neighborhoods, the companies own one-fifth of all such homes. To reach these findings, reporters used manual research and machine learning to compile a now-public dataset of the companies, their subsidiaries, and the parcels they control. The parcel file draws substantially on data from OneMap, a state initiative to standardize county property records. [h/t Tyler Dukes]

Bats in caves. Krizler C. Tanalgo et al.’s DarkCideS “is by far the largest database for cave-dwelling bats,” providing “geographical location, ecological status, species traits, and parasites and hyperparasites for 679 bat species,” plus 6,700+ observation records from 2,000+ caves in 40+ countries. Read more: An introductory Twitter thread. [h/t Renata Muylaert + Colin J. Carlson]