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Data Is Plural

Civilian Harm in Ukraine, Municipal Incorporations, and Political Podcasts

This week's roundup of notable datasets

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 March 22, 2023, has been republished with permission of the author.

Civilian harm in Ukraine. Researchers at Bellingcat and contributors to its Global Authentication Project have assembled a map and dataset of more than 1,000 incidents “that have resulted in potential civilian impact or harm since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.” They include incidents “where rockets or missiles struck civilian areas, where attacks have resulted in the destruction of civilian infrastructure,” and/or where visual evidence depicts civilian injuries or “immobile civilian bodies.” The information, collected from public sources and vetted by Bellingcat, includes each incident’s date, location, description, sources, type of area affected, and type of weapon system (if known). [h/t Philip Bump]

Aid for Ukraine. Christoph Trebesch et al.’s Ukraine Support Tracker “lists and quantifies military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the context of the Russia-Ukraine war.” The 1,400-plus entries in the tracker’s dataset include contributions and commitments from 40 governments, plus several European Union institutions. (It does not include aid from NGOs and other nonstate entities.) Each entry indicates the country, announcement date, type of aid, total value, description, sources, and more. The tracker’s next update is scheduled for March 29.

Municipal incorporations. Christopher B. Goodman, an associate professor of public administration, has consulted a range of state-level sources to compile a dataset listing the year of incorporation for 18,000-plus municipalities in the United States. The dataset, which covers nearly 96 percent of all active municipalities, also provides each place’s name, state, coordinates, canonical ID in the Census, and more. Read more: In a Twitter thread, Goodman explains why he undertook the effort and shares a couple of visualizations. [h/t Maggie Lee]

Political podcasts. The Popular Political Podcast Dataset, developed by the Brookings Institution’s Valerie Wirtschafter and Chris Meserole, covers 50,000-plus episodes from more than 100 “prominent political podcast series”—the latter based on Apple Podcasts’ popularity rankings and its “You Might Also Like” recommendations. Updated daily and explorable online, the dataset provides each episode’s name, description, air date, and URL, plus the series name, partisan leaning, and Apple Podcasts category.

Stop signs. The City of Los Angeles publishes the location and orientation of 50,000-plus local stop signs (plus a few yield signs). Other cities offering similar datasets include Houston, San Francisco, Detroit, Topeka, Menlo Park, and London, Ont. Related: OpenStreetMap’s dataset features nearly 1.4 million stop signs located across the world. [h/t Matt Stiles]

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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