The data newsletter by @puntofisso.
Hello, regular readers and welcome new ones :) This is Quantum of Sollazzo, the newsletter about all things data. I am Giuseppe Sollazzo, or @puntofisso. I’ve been sending this newsletter since 2012 to be a summary of all the articles with or about data that captured my attention over the previous week. The newsletter is and will always (well, for as long as I can keep going!) be free, but you’re welcome to become a friend via the links below.
My “Six Questions” series is taking a few weeks’ break after 14 issues while I prepare the next series. Which gives me the opportunity of asking: who would you like to be featured in the next series of interviews?
The Global Investigative Journalism Network is looking for a Managing Editor. It’s a great opportunity for a curious journalist, maybe with a data background.
The Ordnance Survey are running a hackaton on 6-7 October on the theme Using geospatial data to drive sustainable innovation. There are four interesting challenges, including one on mapping EV charging journeys
Do keep an eye on this FOI request for the lists of Historic and Parent UPRNs. Sent by Robert Whittaker to GeoPlace LLP, it has now reached ICO complaint stage.
‘till next week,
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Using data from FlightRadar24, Ashley Kirk and colleagues at The Guardian look at the changing flight patterns over Kabul Airport.
“As Western governments scramble to evacuate people from Afghanistan, a wide variety of military and civilian aircraft have taken to the air over the country’s capital.“
Similarly to the article above, this piece by Reuters tracks commercial operations, evacuations, military aircrafts, and more.
“With the crucial business travel route between the U.K. and the U.S. still not having reopened despite calls from the airline industry for the U.S. to soften its border policy, sales at Pret’s cafes in terminals may contract slightly once the school term resumes and the summer holiday season comes to an end.“
Bloomberg has launched the Pret Index to track the travel vs staycation aspects of the post-COVID-19 recovery.
“Over the past decade, the United States continued to grow more racially and ethnically diverse, according to the results of last year’s national head count that the U.S. Census Bureau released this week. There are many ways to slice the data and change how the demographic snapshot looks.“
See also The Guardian’s article about the same topic. (via Soph Warnes’s Fair Warning)
Prettymaps is a “minimal Python library to draw customized maps from OpenStreetMap data.“
It’s based, among other libraries, on osmnx, Geoff Boeing’s excellent network analysis library, the one that I originally used to create my road colouring maps.
It lets you create some very, erm, pretty maps as the one below.
(via Francesco Bucci)
“Like many people, the first graph I ever saw explaining climate change was in a school geography textbook. It showed the “hockey stick” curve of the Earth’s surface temperature over time, which has become one of the world’s most recognizable line graphs. […]
One challenge of understanding the information contained in this hockey stick graph — and this is a gift to climate-change deniers — is the inclusion of the gray fuzz of “uncertainty data”: outlying data points that can be cherry-picked to raise doubts about the mass of evidence supporting a general warming trend.“
By the illustrious UCL ethno-geographer James Cheshire.
“How many decimal digits do you need for longitude and latitude? Following the famous XKCD comic on coordinate precision, let’s see how this looks on a map.“
A useful Observable notebook.
(via Francesco Bucci)
Flourish’s Mark Longair explains how he used the UPRN data release by the Office for National Statistics in order to calculate approximate postcode polygons (which, as of today, are not open data…).
It’s a good lesson in GIS practice for one of the most important problems in information geography.
(h/t Owen Boswarva)
GIJN offers a “step-by-step guide on verifying images to check whether the photo you find on social media is the real thing”.
A useful set of tips by Alan Turing Institute data scientist and Python coder Dr. Varshita Sher.
This little code snippet by Andrea Borruso, a hero of Italian Open Data, is very useful because it’s the only way to import very large CSV files.
“When writing publications for our website, our analysis teams are often keen to show as much of our data as possible. One way to do this is through interactive charts – charts that let the reader choose the data they want to see. But is this approach always helpful? We’ve just published new guidance on why old-fashioned static charts are often better.“
By Peter Broad, of the Digital Team of the Office for National Statistics.
Oh, if you’ve missed this one you’re in for a treat.
The academics behind the Data Colada blog have exposed that the data behind a famous paper were fraudulent – and the paper was about… dishonesty! The reason why this is big news is that the original paper is one of the most cited publications on the topic and was co-authored famous academic and dataa guru Dan Ariely.
What I find particularly eyebrow-raising is that some of the “problems” in the data, such as the base distribution or the max value cut off, would be evident to anyone after attending a basic Statistics 101.
“How to Retain, Archive and Dispose of data responsibly”.
A guide (pdf) by The Engine Room.
“Six Questions” graduate Neil Richards has created this hypnotic Tableau dataviz of “The Hundred”, a cricket competition played in England and Wales.
One from my day job, this week. We’ve recently completed a project with Gloucestershire Hospitals that trialled the use of AI to predict the length of stay of patients in hospital beds, an important clinical issue as patients who stay needlessly long in hospital beds tends to have worse outcomes. We have released open source code, published a case study, and this summary blog post.
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