Data Is Plural

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

2024.03.13 edition

Humanitarian emergency mapping, materials and their properties, EU infringements, NYC council members, and counting fish.

Humanitarian emergency mapping. The United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) provides a range of services to UN agencies and the general public, including downloadable maps, data, and analyses produced “in response to humanitarian emergencies related to disasters, complex emergencies and conflict situations.” Those currently available include assessments of flood impacts in Libya, landslides in the Republic of the Congo, and building damage in the Gaza Strip. The latter identifies structures that satellite imagery suggests have been damaged; the data indicate each building’s location and damage level, plus an assessment confidence and notes. Assessments for prior humanitarian emergencies can be found by adjusting the listing page’s filters, and also via UNOSAT’s contributions to the Humanitarian Data Exchange. [h/t Allison Martell]

Materials and their properties. The Materials Project, led by scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, “is a multi-institution, multi-national effort to compute the properties of all inorganic materials” with the “ultimate goal” being “to drastically reduce the time needed to invent new materials.” Its online explorer and API currently provide information about 150,000+ materials. You can search by component elements, formula, thermodynamics, structural properties, magnetism, elasticity, and many other characteristics.

EU infringements. The European Commission publishes a searchable and downloadable database of all its decisions regarding national infringements of EU regulations, decisions, and directives. It currently contains 58,000+ decisions in 24,000+ cases, going back to the late 1980s. (To download the full database, conduct a blank search and then click the “Export to Excel” link.) Each entry lists a decision type and date, case identifier, country, policy area, and more. Recent examples include the Commission’s decisions to refer Ireland to court for failing to protect its peat bogs and Italy for noncompliance with a wastewater treatment directive. [h/t Maximilian Haag et al.]

NYC council members. Maximum New York has published a biographical dataset of people elected to the New York City Council. For each member since 1998 (plus some before that), it lists their name, district, borough, political party, date of birth, undergraduate/graduate universities and fields of study, whether they ever served on a community board, prior employer, and more. Related: DataMade’s Chicago Councilmatic lists all members, bills, votes, and meetings, and is also available as structured data. [h/t Vikram Oberoi + Forest Gregg]

Counting fish. The University of Washington’s Columbia Basin Research provides (among other data) daily, species-level counts of adult salmon and trout passing through more than a dozen sites in the Pacific Northwest. CalFish publishes fish counts and population estimates for the Upper Sacramento River Basin, which “contains much of California’s salmon and steelhead populations.” Similar resources include those available from Alaska, Oregon, and the Yakama Nation. [h/t Dan Brady]