Archives of the Planet Available As Open Data Set

Thanks to Paul P. for the Twitter tip: Archives of the Planet is now available as open data. “This large iconographic collection consists of 72,000 Autochrome plates (color photographs on glass plates) and hundreds of hours worth of black and white films. This is the result of the work of photographers recruited by Albert Kahn and sent all around the world. Between 1909 and 1931, the photographers have been to more than fifty countries to record the everyday lives of the inhabitants of the planet.”

Facebook Narrows Our Degrees of Separation

Move over, Kevin Bacon, the people on Facebook have a lot less than six degrees of separation. “New research from the social suggests that for the 1.59 billion active users of Facebook, there are only 3.57 degrees of separation, on average, between everyone on the social network.” If you visit the Facebook Research Blog you can find out what your degree of separation is on Facebook. Mine is 3.13; so close to pi and yet so far away. The story of my life (or my desserts, anyway.)

Antiquities Coalition Releases “Culture Under Threat” Map

The Antiquities Coalition has recently released a very upsetting map (PRESS RELEASE). “To provide graphical representation of cultural crimes committed by ISIS and other violent extremist organizations in the region, the Antiquities Coalition has created the Culture Under Threat Map, which tracks instances of deliberate targeting of cultural heritage for destruction in the Middle East and North Africa…. The Culture Under Threat Map currently shows nearly 700 heritage sites throughout the 22 states of the Arab League — 209 UNESCO World Heritage and Tentative List Sites (34 of which are in Iraq and Syria), 230 damaged or destroyed sites, and 277 museums.”

The Historical Index of Human Development

Now available: The Historical Index of Human Development. “The Historical Index of Human Development (HIHD) covers up to 157 countries from the mid-19th century – before large-scale improvements in health helped by the diffusion of the germ theory of disease (Preston 1975, Riley 2001) and in primary education (Benavot and Riddle 1988) began – to 2007, the eve of the Great Recession (Prados de la Escosura 2016) In the new website, a dynamic graphic presentation is available for the aggregate historical index of human development (HIHD) and each of its dimensions across world regions. Each country’s human development index and its dimensions, including their contribution to the aggregate index, can also be viewed and accessed separately.”

New Online Archive for Disasters

Now available: an online archive devoted to disasters and humanitarian crises across all history. “Currently focused on disasters in China’s past, as we expand our scope we invite contributions from experts on the subject of disasters, broadly defined, in all regions and periods of history. As we develop, we also aim to serve as a forum of collaborative work and data-sharing for researchers from around the world.”

Catalog of Human Genomic Variations Created

Now available: the world’s largest catalog of human genomic variation. “An international team of scientists from the 1000 Genomes Project Consortium has created the world’s largest catalog of genomic differences among humans, providing researchers with powerful clues to help them establish why some people are susceptible to various diseases. While most differences in peoples’ genomes — called variants — are harmless, some are beneficial, while others contribute to diseases and conditions, ranging from cognitive disabilities to susceptibilities to cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other disorders. Understanding how genomic variants contribute to disease may help clinicians develop improved diagnostics and treatments, in addition to new methods of prevention.”

Online Database of Geroprotectors

Now available: an online database of geroprotectors. “Geroprotectors are interventions that aim to prevent, slow, or reverse the processes of aging in model organisms or humans such that the lifespan, and especially the healthy lifespan, can be extended….The database does more than simply list geroprotectors, it catalogs over 250 experiments involving over 200 known or candidate geroprotectors. Each compound has a comprehensive profile complete with biochemistry, mechanisms, and lifespan effects in various model organisms with information ranging from chemical structure, side effects, and toxicity to FDA drug status.”

Census Bureau Updates Its World Population Clock

The Census Bureau has updated its World Population Clock (PRESS RELEASE). “The U.S. Census Bureau recently updated its popular World Population Clock Web tool with features and information for 228 countries. In addition to featuring the 10 most populous countries, already available in the clock, it now includes country profiles with trade and population statistics, such as total population, population per square kilometer, and goods exported from and imported to the United States. Additional features include graphics on population projections and top exported goods by U.S. state or territory.”