Griffonage-Dot-Com’s Graphic Look at the Electoral College 1896-2016

fiftieth-featuredI’m always happy to give Patrick Feaster‘s excellent blog on historical media another shout out.  Today, being the day the Electoral College votes, you may be interested in this historical overview.  And since it’s 2016 why not have the story told via visual data.
A Graphic Look at Effects of the Electoral College, 1896-2016

 

Philly’s Own FSRDC Coming in April

Last week’s announcement that Philadelphia will host a Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) in April of 2017 was exciting news. To be located in the Federal Reserve fed_bank_philadelphia-2e16d0ba-fill-735x490Bank of Philadelphia, a secured facility at Ten Independence Mall, qualified researchers will be granted access to confidential data at the facility.  The Center is a partnership of the University of Pennsylvania (lead by associate professor of economics, Iourii Manovskii), Penn State University, Drexel University, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. There are 24 of these centers already dotted around the country; six more are on the way, including Philadelphia.

I went to the information session at the Wharton School on Friday, December 2, to learn more about the contents of the archive as well as access procedures which are formal and take between four and twelve months to complete.

This network of data centers provide researchers with access to restricted data from the Census Bureau, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS).  Microdata from these four sources on individuals or businesses include detailed geographic identifiers to allow merging of city, county, or state information. Details on personal and institutional characteristics–place of birth,date of birth, occupation, income, firm or plant size–is also available. What’s more, most Census datasets can be cross-linked with other datasets, including external ones. Most of the microdata that will be available locally as of next April has been heretofore suppressed by the Census Bureau.  Manovskii believes this is a “big deal for us. Until now, such detail and high-quality US data was impossible to get.” (PennCurrent, December 1).

nawrokipsaTo access data researchers must submit a proposal after having contacted an RDC administrator.  It is important to get a clear idea of what is available and how it can meet expectations.  It’s also good to establish that the sought after data it’s not publically available somewhere else. After submitting the proposal there is a security clearance and an “SSS” (special sworn status) to obtain–all these steps take time so it is good to get the process started as soon as possible. Maximum project time once approved is five years.

For a complete list of available datasets at each of the four centers click here.

 

Data Visualizing Westworld

This should be really fun for fans of the popular HBO series, Westworld, especially if you’re also a bit of a data wrangler.  Folks at Mode gather theories about characters and plot, turn them into data visualizations and display them at WESTWORLD IN DATA.  They also extract data from the shows themselves with findings, for instance, on which characters/genders speak the most.

westworld-robot-in-progress-1024x576

Read more about the this project here, where they invite us to tune in weekly:

“We’ll be updating Westworld in Data with data from the most recent episode every Monday evening, so be sure to bookmark the site and check back. We’ll also be doing more Westworld analyses as the season progresses. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to keep up with our data adventures.”

September CommQuote

This month’s quote comes from a fascinating book on the avant-garde’s longstanding relationship with information technology. The book is The Poetics of Information Overload (University of Minnesota, 2015) by Paul Stephens.image_mini

“Much of the work of the twentieth-century avant-garde was extremely self-conscious of the rapid changes in technologies of communication and data storage. From Dada photomontage to hyper-text poetry, avant-garde methodology has been deeply concerned with remediation and transcoding–the movement from one technological medium or format to another. As Brian Reed has recently written, “Poetry is a language-based art with a penchant for reflecting on its channels of communication.” For Reed, poetry “offers unparalleled opportunities for coming to grips with the new media ecology. Poets, as they experiment with transmediation, serially bring to light each medium’s textures, contours, and inner logic.” While poetry may seem the most non-technological of literary genres, I show that poets were often obsessed by the changing nature of information and its dissemination in the twentieth century. The news that there is more news than we can process is not so new: while avant-garde poetry may not figure prominently in the global information glut, the global information glut figures prominently in avant-garde poetry. However, marginal it may seem, poetry will long outlast our current media platforms…”

–Paul Stephens, Preface, pp. xv-xvi