Data Is Plural

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

2023.05.24 edition

Aviation accident investigations, the top of BuzzFeed News, forty years of financial reforms, parking reforms, and protected European ham.

Aviation accident investigations. Through its Case Analysis and Reporting Online service, the National Transportation Safety Board provides information about all US civil aviation accident investigations since 1983; another NTSB tool includes earlier cases, going back to 1963. The agency also provides bulk data downloads, covering the full span. Those files link each investigated event to details regarding the aircraft involved, engines, crew, injuries/fatalities, narratives, findings, and more. Related: In February, the agency launched an interactive dashboard summarizing accidents from 2012 to 2021. [h/t Gary Price]

The top of BuzzFeed News. You’ve likely heard: BuzzFeed Inc. has shut down BuzzFeed News, where I worked from 2014 to early 2022. In July 2018, the newsroom launched its own website,, distinct from The top of the new homepage featured a “Trending” strip, with links to a handful of editor-selected articles. A few months later, I wrote a computer script to save the text, URL, and position of each link on the strip. My personal server ran that script every five minutes (with occasional interruptions) until the newsroom’s final day of operation on May 5. Here’s what it saw. Read more: “The Ultimate Oral History Of BuzzFeed News,” as told by many of my wonderful former colleagues.

Forty years of financial reforms. A decade-plus ago, a team of IMF economists published “A New Database of Financial Reforms,” recording changes to financial policy in 91 economies from 1973 to 2005. They did so “along seven different dimensions: credit controls and reserve requirements, interest rate controls, entry barriers, state ownership, policies on securities markets, banking regulations, and restrictions on the capital account.” Last year, Sawa Omori, a political scientist who assisted with that project, introduced a revised and updated version, expanding the coverage to 100 economies, extending it through 2013, and refining the seven original dimensions into 20 subdimensions.

Parking reforms. The Parking Reform Network, a US-based nonprofit that aims “to discourage the building of too much parking supply,” has compiled a map and dataset of ~1,400 relevant local mandates. They focus on policies that reduce or eliminate minimum parking requirements for new developments, or set maximums. For each mandate, the dataset provides a summary and indicates its location, status, category, geographic scope, affected land use, and more. Related: Parking lots in the central areas of 50+ cities, as mapped by the organization. [h/t Derek M. Jones]

Protected European ham. In the world of food and wine, geographical indications protect traditional local producers against imitators — Champagne being a famous example. To explore the relationship between protected region size and product price, Gero Laurenz Höhn et al. have collected the prices of protected and non-protected European ham from dozens of supermarket websites. The 22 protected varieties in the dataset (such as Italy’s Prosciutto di Parma and Spain’s Jamón de Trevélez) come from nine countries. Related: eAmbrosia, the EU’s downloadable register of protected indications.