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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 June 22, 2022, edition, reprinted with permission at FiveThirtyEight.

2022.06.22 edition

Monkeypox cases, Ukraine air raid alerts, central bank interest rates, inclusive crossword names and NYC tree plantings.

Monkeypox cases., a data-sharing initiative launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, has compiled a dataset of 2,500-plus confirmed cases from this year’s monkeypox outbreak. Drawing from government and media sources, the dataset lists each case’s country and publicly known characteristics, such as the patient’s gender, age range, date of confirmation and symptoms. As seen in: Charts and maps from the team and from Our World In Data.

Ukraine air raid alerts. Volodymyr Agafonkin, a Kyiv-based software engineer, has been scraping and charting the emergency notifications published through Air Alert Ukraine, a Telegram channel. The notifications serve as a digital counterpart to the sirens that warn residents of potentially imminent Russian air attacks. Agafonkin’s dataset indicates the starting and ending times of 8,000-plus alerts for 240 locations since March 15. Read more: An interview with Agafonkin in How To Read This Chart, a Washington Post newsletter.

Central bank interest rates. The Bank for International Settlements maintains a longitudinal dataset of policy interest rates, which central banks adjust to influence inflation and other aspects of the economy. The dataset, which includes both official policy rates and analogous precursors, covers three dozen countries plus the European Central Bank. The records span decades, going as far back as 1946 for Denmark, India, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK; 1954 for the US; 1960 for Canada; and 1976 for Australia.

Inclusive crossword names. In a post for The New York Times’ Gameplay section, psychology professor Erica Hsiung Wojcik describes her motivations for creating the Expanded Crossword Name Database, “a free and regularly updated list of names, places and things that represent groups, identities and people often excluded from crossword grids,” with a particular focus on “names of women, non-binary, trans and/or people of color.” It contains 2,400-plus potential entries — from AALIYAH to ZORANEALEHURSTON — that correspond to 900-plus distinct proper nouns, each briefly described in the project’s main spreadsheet. [h/t George Ho]

NYC tree plantings. New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation publishes a map and dataset of recent and likely-upcoming street tree plantings. The information includes each location’s coordinates, nearest street address, ZIP code, city council district and borough, as well as the dates of completed plantings. Previously: Every street tree in NYC (DIP 2016.11.16). [h/t Sophie Warnes]

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


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