Flood Risk, Arab Films, Google Maps, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, June 29, 2020


PR Newswire: First Street Foundation releases new data disclosing the flood risk of every home in the contiguous U.S. (PRESS RELEASE). “The nonprofit research and technology group First Street Foundation has publicly released flood risk data for more than 142 million homes and properties across the country. The data, based on decades of peer-reviewed research, assigns every property in the contiguous United States a “Flood Factor™,” or score from 1 to 10, based on its cumulative risk of flooding over a thirty-year mortgage. People can look up a property’s Flood Factor and learn more about its past, present, and future flood risk at, the Foundation’s new online visualization tool, launching today.” When I was playing with this, I found that it would work for a couple of lookups and then start giving me 404 errors as I was putting in a new address. If I reopened the link in an incognito window it worked fine again for a couple of lookups.

Ahram Online: Virtual Cannes Market: Arab Cinema Centre and Telescope Film launch database of Arab films. “Within the Virtual Cannes Market’s events, and aiming to expand the scope of the Arab cinema’s exposure internationally, Telescope Film announced the launch of Arab Cinema Centre’s microsite. Arab Films and Where to Find Them! is the opening motto for the new microsite, as it serves as a comprehensive English-language guide to Arab cinema.”


Google Blog: Now sending: Business Messages via Google Maps and Search. “Today we’re expanding Business Messages in Maps and Search to support all kinds of businesses, and giving them the ability to integrate Business Messages directly with their customer service platforms. Business Messages provides brands a comprehensive messaging solution across Android devices, and through Maps on iOS.”

Neowin: Google Meet to add 49-user tiled layout, background blur, and more for education users. “Google is announcing a few new features for Meet that will roll out later this year, which are mainly geared towards G Suite education customers. The new features include added capabilities for admins and moderators, the ability to replace or blur backgrounds, larger tiled view to accommodate more participants in a video call, and more.”


BBC: How Facebook scammers target people at risk of suicide. “A BBC investigation has uncovered dozens of Facebook pages claiming to sell a deadly poison to people who are contemplating suicide. It’s the work of scammers – but how do they operate?”

WSET: Virginia Humanities announces $235,800 to support museums, historical societies. “Virginia Humanities announced $235,800 in recent grants to nonprofit organizations in support of public humanities programs for audiences throughout the state. Virginia Humanities has awarded grants to museums, historical societies, and other cultural non-profits across the state since 1974.”


BuzzFeed News: Almost 17,000 Protesters Had No Idea A Tech Company Was Tracing Their Location. “On the weekend of May 29, thousands of people marched, sang, grieved, and chanted, demanding an end to police brutality and the defunding of police departments in the aftermath of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. They marched en masse in cities like Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, empowered by their number and the assumed anonymity of the crowd. And they did so completely unaware that a tech company was using location data harvested from their cellphones to predict their race, age, and gender and where they lived.”

Technical .ly: Volunteer data scrapers helped Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity preserve client court records. “As the first state to implement the Clean Slate Law in 2018, Pennsylvania committed to sealing millions of criminal records. The law was enacted to remove educational and vocational disadvantages for people with eligible records, including those associated with certain misdemeanors and people found not guilty in court. While the law cleared barriers to housing, education and employment for individuals across the state, it indirectly created new technological barriers for Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE).”


CNET: Why tech made racial injustice worse, and how to fix it. “As part of CNET’s Now What series, we explore the impact of tech on race relations with Ruha Benjamin, professor of African American studies at Princeton University and author of the book Race After Technology. Benjamin is a sociologist focused on technology and she brings a unique perspective on the impact of technology on race relations.”

DigitalNC: Moving Forward With Equitable Metadata: Changing Exclusive Terminology. “To continue the steps taken to promote equal representation throughout DigitalNC’s collections, as initially brought up in the recent blog post We Can Do Better: Making Our Metadata More Equitable, the NCDHC staff is becoming more committed to inclusivity through changing exclusive terminology. For this update, we’re specifically looking at the gendered and presumptive terms used in the title and description metadata categories of our visual collections. These changes, while perhaps small in effort, are a big step towards reimaging how we can be better stewards of history, especially to those individuals who are brought into our collections without an identity.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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