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Data Is Plural

Monkeypox, Ukraine Air Raid Alerts, and Inclusive Crossword Names

This week’s roundup of notable data

Illustration of an open envelope, with arrows coming out from within. The arrows are pointing to various spreadsheets. Behind the spreadsheets are data visualizations, clouds and strings of numbers.
Gabriel Hongsdusit

Data Is Plural is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets. This edition, dated June 22, 2022, has been republished with permission of the author.

Monkeypox cases. Global.health, 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/or symptoms. As seen in: Charts and maps from the Global.health 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 U.K.; 1954 for the U.S.; 1960 for Canada; and 1976 for Australia.

Inclusive crossword names. In a post for The New York Times’s 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 and 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 Soph Warnes]


Notice: Unlike most of our content, this edition of Data Is Plural by Jeremy Singer-Vine is not available for republication under a Creative Commons license.

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