U-2 Aerial Photography, Google SERPs, Dataset Cleaning, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, February 25, 2020


Sapiens: Spy Plane Photos Open Windows Into Ancient Worlds . “The U.S. government declassified many U-2 images in 1997, making them freely available to researchers and the public. But they remained unindexed and unscanned. There was no way to access the images digitally, nor could people know where geographically each roll of film was taken or highlight the particularly interesting frames. In the past four years, my archaeologist colleague Jason Ur at Harvard University and I (a landscape archaeologist) have worked to make this complex photo archive accessible to other researchers and to illustrate its importance for history and anthropology. The result is a resource that we hope many scholars can take advantage of, a window into ancient sites as well as historical Middle Eastern communities as they existed more than half a century ago.”


Search Engine Land: New local SERP live in Europe. “In April 2019, Google was experimenting with a new local SERP that highlighted alternative directory sources for the same query. At the time, we saw an example in the wild for Germany. Now, an updated version of the SERP featuring branded directory buttons appears to be live in the UK, Belgium, Spain, Greece, and France – if not already throughout Europe.”


Analytics India: 10 Datasets For Data Cleaning Practice For Beginners. “In order to create quality data analytics solutions, it is very crucial to wrangle the data. The process includes identifying and removing inaccurate and irrelevant data, dealing with the missing data, removing the duplicate data, etc. Thus, eliminating the major inconsistencies and making the data more efficient to work with. In this article, we list down 10 datasets for beginners, which can be used for data cleaning practice or data preprocessing.”


Mashable: There’s a new hub for student dissent: college meme groups on Facebook. “Nearly 60 years ago, Jack Weinberg, a U.C. Berkeley student whose arrest spurred the era-defining Free Speech Movement, made a simple, somewhat tossed-off, comment to a reporter: ‘Don’t trust anyone over 30.’ In the process, he helped further ignite a generational wedge that sticks with us today, marking college campuses and the young people they contain as the initiators and supporters of a host of social movements, from anti-war protests to Occupy Wall Street. In the 2020s, there’s a new student movement afoot…online. (And in some cases, it’s the main thing keeping college students on Facebook.)”

The Peak: SFYOU: Meet the professor engineering the Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony, Elise Chenier. “It’s likely that the majority of people reading this have not heard about something called the Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony (ALOT). The brainchild of Elise Chenier, an oral historian and professor at SFU, ALOT was founded in 2010 and is primarily a digital collection of audio and video recordings centring around people who have identified as lesbian at some point in their lives. The goal of ALOT is to bring to light both lesbian and queer women histories that mainstream history has largely overlooked.”

UNF Spinnaker: A new way for college students to share and listen to music. “Streaming music has become a very popular way to listen to music. If you’re a [University of North Florida] student who’s looking to showcase your music or are interested in discovering local artists who are also students, look no further than Quadio. Quadio is a social media music platform college students can now use to get their music out to a wider audience.”


Motherboard: Google Is Letting People Find Invites to Some Private WhatsApp Groups. “Google is indexing invite links to WhatsApp group chats whose administrators may want to be private. This means with a simple search, random people can discover and join a wide range of WhatsApp group chats.”

TechCrunch: A ‘stalkerware’ app leaked phone data from thousands of victims. “The app, KidsGuard, claims it can ‘access all the information’ on a target device, including its real-time location, text messages, browser history, access to its photos, videos and app activities, and recordings of phone calls. But a misconfigured server meant the app was also spilling out the secretly uploaded contents of victims’ devices to the internet.”


EurekAlert: Anonymous no more: combining genetics with genealogy to identify the dead in unmarked graves. “In Quebec, gravestones did not come into common use until the second half of the 19th century, so historical cemeteries contain many unmarked graves. Inspired by colleagues at Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University, a team of researchers in genetics, archaeology and demography from three Quebec universities (Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières) conducted a study in which they combined genealogical information from BALSAC (a Quebec database that is the only one of its kind in the world) with genetic information from more than 960 modern Quebecers in order to access the genetic profile of Quebec’s historical population. The results, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, suggest the capabilities that this method may offer in the near future.”

The Sociable: What’s the difference between Google and China? Op-ed. “What’s the difference between Google and China? One is accused of intellectual property theft while the other has created an Orwellian surveillance program. Jokes aside, I see many similarities between the behaviors of the company and the country and how they operate, allegedly and otherwise.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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