Data Is Plural

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

2024.06.26 edition

Supreme gifts, internet politics, federal rural investments, fish-spawning areas, and Broadway attendance.

Supreme gifts. Fix the Court is a nonprofit that “advocates for non-ideological ‘fixes’ that would make the federal courts, and primarily the U.S. Supreme Court, more open and more accountable to the American people.” Earlier this month, they published a series of spreadsheets tallying 500+ gifts accepted by the Supreme Court’s justices since 2000, with an estimated total value of $4.76 million. The findings “are largely based on last year’s groundbreaking work by ProPublica and includes data from stories in the New York Times, L.A. Times, the congressional record, annual disclosures,” and Fix the Court’s own work. The data indicate each gift’s year, recipient, description, giver, value, and the source of information. Previously: The Free Law Project’s database of federal judges’ financial disclosures (DIP 2021.10.20). Related: ProPublica’s interactive database of the current justices’ disclosures.

Internet politics. The Digital Society Project, founded in 2018 as a collaboration with the Varieties of Democracy initiative (DIP 2019.04.24), “aims to answer some of the most important questions surrounding interactions between the internet and politics.” To do so, they conduct surveys of experts and ask them questions such as: “How often does the government shut down domestic access to the Internet?” and “How often do domestic elites use social media to organize offline political action of any kind?” The survey’s downloadable datasets cover 170+ countries and provide aggregate metrics for each question. [h/t Donata Columbro]

Federal rural investment. The Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency runs dozens of financial assistance programs to support housing, business, community facilities, telecommunications, and other developments in less populated areas of the United States. The agency’s data gateway, launched last year, provides dashboards and downloads tracking these loans, loan guarantees, and grants going back to fiscal year 2012. At their most granular, the data describe each investment’s type, amount, program, sector, ZIP code, city, state, and more. [h/t James Barham]

Fish-spawning areas. Kimberly L. Oremus et al. have constructed a geospatial dataset that indicates the spawning locations and timing for 1,000+ saltwater fish in 2,900+ marine regions around the world. The authors primarily sourced — and then geocoded — the records from FishBase (an initiative providing data on the habitats, body shapes, and other characteristics of 35,000+ fish species) and the database of Science and Conservation of Fish Aggregations (a nonprofit that focuses on massive reproductive gatherings of fish).

Broadway attendance. The Broadway League’s Internet Broadway Database lets you search the famed industry’s theaters, shows, casts and staff, awards, and more. It also publishes charts and structured tables of weekly attendance and ticket revenue, additionally available for individual shows. The League itself also publishes show-level statistics. [h/t Millie Giles]