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The Datasets We’re Looking At This Week

You’re reading Data Is Plural, a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. Below you’ll find the Sept. 7, 2022, edition, reprinted with permission at FiveThirtyEight.

2022.09.07 edition

LGBTQ rights, the General Social Survey, most buildings in Spain, battles and sieges and even more street trees.

LGBTQ rights. Equaldex tracks LGBTQ rights around the world, categorizing the liberties and restrictions that relate to more than a dozen issues, such as same-sex marriage, blood donation, military service, employment discrimination and the right to change one’s legal gender. The collaboratively edited database provides an API to retrieve those categorizations and contextual notes by country and/or U.S. state. The project also keeps tabs on developments that alter those rights and public-opinion polling. [h/t Giuseppe Sollazzo]

Five decades of U.S. public opinion. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the General Social Survey, which calls itself “the only full-probability, personal-interview survey designed to monitor changes in both social characteristics and attitudes currently being conducted in the United States.” It combines a “standard core of demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions” with shorter-lived modules on topics such as religion, gun control and mental health. You can explore the results online and also download the thoroughly documented, anonymized microdata. Related: The International Social Survey Programme, co-founded by the GSS team.

Most buildings in Spain. The Spanish government’s cadastral service provides geospatial data on every parcel, address and building for “the entire territory under its jurisdiction (the entire national territory except the Basque Country and Navarre).” The records, available to download programmatically, include each building’s year of construction, total floor area, number of dwellings and more. As seen in: “Spain lives in flats: why we have built our cities vertically” (El Diario, original in Spanish), and associated Twitter thread. [h/t Rose Mintzer-Sweeney]

Battles and sieges. Charles Miller and K. Shuvo Bakar’s Historical Conflict Event Dataset covers 8,800-plus military clashes spanning thousands of years, from Egypt’s capture of Megiddo circa 1468 B.C. to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The authors draw primarily from Tony Jaques’s Dictionary of Battles and Sieges, which they augment with additional research and sources. The resulting spreadsheet provides each event’s name, year, relevant war, narrative, participant list, location and more. [h/t Micah Zenko]

Even more street trees. Dakota E. McCoy et al. have built a dataset of 5,000,000-plus urban trees, gathered and harmonized from 63 U.S. cities’ inventories. The level of detail differs by city, but can include the tree’s species, date planted, location, height, trunk diameter, condition and more. The authors also provide a range of summary statistics for each city. Previously: Street trees in DIP 2020.11.18, DIP 2018.08.08, and DIP 2016.11.16. [h/t Clayton Page Aldern]

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Jeremy Singer-Vine is a data editor, reporter and computer programmer based in New York City.


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