Autism, Medical Images, HathiTrust, More: Saturday Morning Buzz, June 13th, 2015


The Getty Foundation has launched an online grant database. “The new database offers a number of ways to search for grant information, including a sliding timeline so that users can search for grants within a specific date range, a keyword search, and a sorting tool that searches by year, initiative, grantee, region, and country. Grant details include the name of the grantee, the name of the initiative, amount awarded, date of the award, location of the project, and a link to the initiative and project description on the Foundation’s website. The database also offers a running total number of grants, grantees, funds awarded, and reports of grants awarded by year.”

Stanford University has gotten a $9 million dollar grant to establish an open-access autism database. “The platform will enable researchers to ask questions that simultaneously draw on many kinds of data on autism spectrum disorder, including phenotypes, proteomics, metabolomics, genomics, measurements and imaging of brain activity, information on the gut microbiome, blood-based biomarkers, physician narratives, diagnostic test results and treatment protocols. The platform will include a portal to enable data integration, as well as experimental design and validation. The initial repository integrates genetic, phenotypic, genomic and other data on nearly 5,000 individuals affected with autism spectrum disorder.”

Cornell University has developed a browser plug-in that detects political “message framing” and wants some help testing it. “Volunteers in the two-month field study may choose any news site on which to run the FrameCheck plug-in. As volunteer readers peruse each article, FrameCheck runs in the background, analyzing text and identifying words and phrases most related to framing. ‘For instance, an article about health care – framed to emphasize issues of cost – might use language that talks about Medicaid, insurance premiums, costs for patients or tax burdens,’ Baumer explains. ‘In contrast, an article that frames health care in terms of equality might describe economic or racial disparities, gaps between the majority and minorities or differences in the quality of care that different patients receive.'”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched a new data visualization tool. “The data visualization tool is accessible at and allows users to view and interact with a wide array of FEMA data. Through an interactive platform, users can view the history of disaster declarations by hazard type or year and the financial support provided to states, tribes and territories, and access public datasets for further research and analysis. On the site, you can see compelling visual representations of federal grant data as it relates to fire, preparedness, mitigation, individual assistance and public assistance.” There’s an introductory article and links to more information here.

Good heavens. Pardon me while I wipe the drool off my chin, but this new dataset from HathiTrust looks absolutely delicious. The basic feature files are over a terabyte, but there are three thematic collections available and a set of sample files. The sample files are about 24 MB in a .tar file.

Medical students/educators/librarians: the Lane Medical Library at Stanford has created a new tool for finding medical/scientific images only: “Bio-Image Search, developed by Lane Medical Library, serves up images and diagrams exclusively from medical and scientific organizations. It groups the results based on the degree to which their republication is restricted. The tool is available to anyone with Internet access. Simply go to the search bar at the top of the Lane Library website and select Bio-Image Search from the drop-down menu to the left of the main search bar. It has access to more than 2 million images, and the librarians are hoping to add more.” I took a little test drive and did a search for epidemic. Results are tab-divided into four groups by reuse rights: maximum, broad, possible, and restricted. Clicking on an entry takes you directly to the source. Well done Lane Medical Library.


The International Business Times has an update on the plant database World Flora Online. “Once complete, field plant biologists will no longer have to scour the Internet for obscure reference material – Thomas says it will all be right there in World Flora Online. The peer-reviewed database should also allow researchers to study the distribution and conservation status of hundreds of thousands of species at once, and layer it against data on climate or soil type.”


Microsoft is going to open souce Windows Live Writer. “The application debuted in 2007 alongside Windows Vista, and was part of Windows Live Essentials, a bundle that included several now-defunct programs, such as Mail, Messenger, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery and SkyDrive. Live Writer was last updated in 2012, shortly after Microsoft retired the Live brand.”


The IRS has released the tax forms of 9 nonprofits in computer-readable format. After much legal churning. “In a precedent that could help pry open a wealth of information about nonprofit activities, the federal government has turned over nine nonprofit tax forms in a format that computers can read — resolving a court battle waged by open-records activist Carl Malamud.” Mr. Malamud is continuing to work to make such releases the rule and not the exception.


This is what happens when you rely too much on scraping and too little on humans with brains. Google had a very .. uh.. interesting answer for the question “What happened to the dinosaurs?”.

The state of North Carolina is going to get a lot more digitized historic newspapers. “North Carolina Historic Newspapers will digitize runs from 28 additional newspaper titles, totaling over 100,000 pages, over the next year and a half…. This phase of newspaper digitization includes such titles as The Fool Killer, the local paper of Boomer, Our Living and Our Dead, an important literary-historical periodical chronicling North Carolina’s role in the Civil War, and Die Suedliche Post, a short lived 19th century German publication out of Goldsboro.”

Apple is creating its own mapping database. Good morning, Internet…

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