Yucca Mountain Documents, Open Data Policies, Komodo Island, More: Monday Buzz, August 22, 2016


Now available: a digital library of documents related to the Yucca Mountain Depository. “The [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] is flipping the switch today on its new LSN Library — making nearly 3.7 million documents related to the adjudicatory hearing on the proposed Yucca Mountain repository available to the public. The library makes the discovery documents by various parties to the hearing public for the first time in five years, and with enhanced search capabilities.”

Now available: a database of open data policies from municipalities across the United States. “A pair of open government groups are teaming up to post dozens of open data policies from cities around the country in a searchable, machine-readable format, giving local leaders a new resource for understanding how other localities are making their information more accessible. The Sunlight Foundation and OpenGov Foundation announced their new collaboration on ‘Open Data Policies Decoded’ last week, unveiling a beta version of the new database with policies from 48 cities posted and ready for analysis.”

Put up on Google Street View over a week ago and I missed it: imagery from the Komodo Islands, Indonesia. “Beyond taking a virtual walk with dragons, you can also explore the rich marine life surrounding Komodo Island, with the launch of 11 new underwater sites from Indonesia, thanks to XL Catlin Seaview Survey and The Ocean Agency.”

This actually happened at the beginning of the month, but I couldn’t get to the NREL press release. Now it works. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has launched an energy profile for each US city. “The City Energy Profile tool, which is available on the State and Local Energy Data website, uses innovative, robust data science methodologies to derive city-specific data for 23,400 cities across the United States. In addition to providing cities with estimates of their electricity and natural gas use and costs by sector, the tool generates energy market profiles that provide data on the fuel types, including alternative fuels, and the fuel economy of vehicles registered in each city.” Use the “tabs” on the side of the information pages to get details for each section of energy use.

From the Library of Congress’ “New on the Web” feed: The New York Journal, 1896-1899. Yes, a very short archive, but I just spent 30 minutes wandering around in it. You’ve been warned.


The Annapolis Maritime Museum has gotten a grant to make its archives more accessible. “The Annapolis Maritime Museum has received a strategic impact grant from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County to build a virtual database of archives. This grant is making a big impact for the museum’s online collections, and the museum’s database has already encouraged local historians to submit their private collections for public use.” I tried the link in the article and it led to a simple site. I tried to leave a comment and I couldn’t do that either. I hope you have better luck with this story than I did.

FEMA has updated its mobile app to include crowdsourced images. “After you snap a pic, you’re prompted to choose from a selection of categories including ‘flood,’ ‘thunderstorms,’ and ‘wildfire.’ Then, after you’ve assigned a date and location, the app uploads your material to FEMA’s cloud storage. ‘When you take a photo of a disaster that’s happening in your area, first responders have access to that database,’ [Sheridan] Marfil said. ‘It gives first responders a clear picture of what it looks like out there.'”

Indian Railways is teaming up with Google. “Railways will collaborate with Google for digitizing and showcasing its heritage on digital platforms. Google has agreed to partner with Railways to digitise its heritage assets and help create a digital repository for universal online access free of cost, said a senior Railway Ministry official. Indian Railway has a huge list of heritage assets including bridges, steam locos, buildings, artefacts and museums which can be showcased for global audience.”


From Six Revisions: 13 Free Data Visualization Tools.


This is just flat-out scary. From Urban Milwaukee: Journal Sentinel Archive Disappears. “…on Tuesday, August 16, the Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee Sentinel, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel listings vanished from the Google News Archive home page. This change came without any advance warning and still has no official explanation.” The only explanation the article writer could get was that Newsbank now owned the copyright to these newspapers. But if the archives really did have “more than a century’s worth of local newspapers,” why has no one called out Newsbank on trying to assert copyright over pre-1923 materials?


The latest retailer to be hit by malware is Eddie Bauer. “All the retailer’s stores in the U.S. and Canada, numbering about 350, were affected, a company spokesman disclosed Thursday. He added that the retailer is not disclosing the number of customers affected. The card information harvested included cardholder name, payment card number, security code and expiration date.” The breach apparently happened between January and July 2016 ….


New York Magazine: Save the Trash! Why the Gawker Archive Is Important. “The early content of Gawker, in particular, is of real significance in the history of journalism. Elizabeth Spiers, in the site’s first days, and Choire Sicha, soon thereafter, all but invented the bloggy, voice-y approach to online writing that now dominates the web. Many of us try to do that sort of work in a more generous or kinder way; many of us do not have the appetite for blood that Gawker did. But whether you like it or not, or mimic it or not, what they did changed the way things are done. For that alone, it is (and will be) worth study, and is thus worth preserving.”

From MIT Technology Review: How an Algorithm Learned to Identify Depressed Individuals by Studying Their Instagram Photos “…Andrew Reece at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Chris Danforth at the University of Vermont in Burlington, … have found significant correlations between the colors in photos posted to Instagram and an individual’s mental health. The link is so strong that the pair suggest that it could be used for early detection of mental illness.” Good morning, Internet…

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