Archive for February, 2008

25
Feb
08

Peter Murray-Rust and the data-mining robots

Peter Murray-Rust is working to harvest crystallography data from research papers published on the web and make the aggregated data available online.

(Via Open Data Commons.)

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22
Feb
08

Public Economic Indicators site saved from shutdown

Economic Indicators.gov reports that the site will not be terminated as announced previously:

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) has decided to continue the economicindicators.gov website. Featuring the economic releases from ESA’s Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the site was started by this Administration in 2002 to give greater awareness to these economic statistics. ESA initially planned to discontinue the service due to cost concerns but given the feedback ESA received, the decision has been made to continue the site and improve its functionality.

The Economic Indicators site is merely a list of links to economic news releases from two federal agencies, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, but such cross-agency aggregation points are rare enough as it is. Perhaps they’ll add additional sources of economic news releases (such as the Federal Reserve and Bureau of Labor Statistics) in the future.

(Via OMB Watch.)

12
Feb
08

Gapminder – Video: Gapcasts

Hans Rosling’s 2006 and 2007 presentations at TED have received a lot of coverage in the blogosphere, but that’s not all that Prof. Rosling has to say. Check out the Gapcast video series from Gapminder for several more presentations on human development issues around the world.

It appears that all of these presentations were created using the same version of the Trendalyzer software that was put out before Google acquired the technology last year. Google has been silent on their plans for Trendalyzer, though there has been some coverage of plans to host large quantities of scientific research data on Google servers, possibly involving some use of Trendalyzer for visualization of these large datasets.

12
Feb
08

Cancer Data? Sorry, Can’t Have It – New York Times

In Cancer Data? Sorry, Can’t Have It: Dr. Andrew Vickers weighs in against the common practice by cancer researchers of refusing to release clinical trials data.

When medical research is funded by public dollars, the results of that research (minus personal patient information) should absolutely be made available to the public for independent review and analysis. Making public data disclosure the common practice will require a major change of behavior, but it’s inevitable.

08
Feb
08

Cite your sources – kudos to Tax Policy Center

The Tax Policy Center has released their Tax Policy Briefing Book for 2008. This covers questions related to tax and budget policy that are likely to come up during the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

Like many reports of this sort, the briefing book includes plenty of charts. However this report is unusual in that all of the charts include full citations of their original data sources, with complete URLs, and also links to downloadable Excel spreadsheets with the raw data used to create the charts.

Kudos to the Tax Policy Center for their thoroughness in citing sources. I hope we’ll see other organizations doing this in the future.