World Settlement Footprint, Iowa Crime Database, Porsche Museum, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, November 17, 2021


NASA Landsat Science: Mapping Our Human Footprint from Space. “The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the UN Department of Economics and Social Affairs. Urban areas are already home to 55% of the world’s population and that figure is expected to grow to 68 percent by 2050…. To improve the understanding of current trends in global urbanization, ESA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), in collaboration with the Google Earth Engine team, are jointly developing the World Settlement Footprint—the world’s most comprehensive dataset on human settlement.”

Iowa Department of Public Safety: DPS Launches New Interactive I-Crime Database. “The Iowa Department of Public Safety is pleased to announce the launch of its new state crime database, I-CRIME. This online database is a modern tool that updates Iowa’s incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system, which serves as the central repository for crime and arrest data across all of Iowa law enforcement…. I-CRIME includes the Crime In Iowa public portal that allows the general public to access published crime data through interactive reports to include the ability for users to create custom queries and export data in industry common formats. I-CRIME replaces a legacy mainframe database that had not been updated since 2000.”


SG CarMart: The Porsche Museum has uploaded an online tour of its latest exhibition . “The Porsche Museum is expanding its range of digital exhibits with the upload of its latest special exhibition, titled, ’50 Years of Porsche Development Weissach’ on YouTube for all to enjoy. The 12-minute long tour brings the historical development of the spiritual birthplace of all Porsche sports cars into living rooms across the globe, as visitors are provided with insights not only into the beginnings and development of the site, but also into the sophisticated departments of the Weissach Development Centre.”

CNET: Google Maps beefs up tools for holiday shoppers and travelers. “The tech giant is expanding its Directory feature to help people better find their way around large buildings, allowing them to quickly see what shops are inside or the location of airport lounges, car rental kiosk or parking lots, among others. The enhancements, which are rolling out to both Android and iOS apps, will also include relevant information such as hours of operation and ratings.”


MakeUseOf: 6 Custom Planners You Can Easily Make With Google Drive. “Are the sticky notes scattered all over your desk doing a poor job of recording what’s on your mind and tracking what’s on your plate? Why not ditch them for a Google Drive planner? Google Drive is free, cross-platform, versatile, user-friendly, and flexible. These qualities make it the perfect tool to map your plans for every aspect of your life and, what’s more, to follow through on them. The following sample online planners featuring Google tools will demonstrate that.”


Global Investigative Journalism Network: How Three Reporting Teams Crowdsourced Groundbreaking Investigations. “Alice Brennan, executive producer of Australia’s ABC Background Briefing, is sold on crowdsourcing. She says it is fast becoming one of the most useful tools for breaking new ground in investigations, and finding underreported stories. Crowdsourced reporting, or community-based reporting, also helps reporters fill in gaps and solve puzzles that used to be difficult to unravel.”

The Verge: Disney’s text-to-speech TikTok voices censored words like “gay” and “lesbian”. “TikTokers have demonstrated that Disney’s text-to-speech TikTok voice, meant to sound like Rocket the Raccoon, would refuse to read words like ‘gay,’ ‘lesbian,’ or ‘queer’ out loud. This decision seems to have been reverted — you can now get the voice to read out those words, but it’s unclear why it was happening. The change, however, is very recent — The Verge confirmed that the voice wouldn’t say the words, but it started to do so in a subsequent test minutes later on Monday afternoon. TikTok hasn’t commented on why this happened, but videos posted to highlight the issue still have the words blanked out.”


CNET: Mozilla’s holiday guide rates tech gifts for privacy practices. “Santa isn’t alone in keeping an eye on you this holiday season. Nearly a third of the 151 popular connected gifts analyzed by the Mozilla Foundation as part of its annual ‘Privacy Not Included’ shopping guide didn’t meet basic standards for digital security and privacy, the digital rights group said Tuesday.”

Techdirt: Report: US ISPs Aren’t Transparent About Prices And Speeds, And Regulators Generally Don’t Care . “By now we’ve well established that regional monopolization, limited competition, and the (state and federal) corruption that enables both (aka regulatory capture) are why US broadband is spotty, expensive, and slow. With neither competent regulatory oversight nor meaningful competition to drive improvements, regional dominant broadband providers simply… don’t bother.”

Wired: Twitter Vigilantes Are Hunting Down Crypto Scammers. “Cryptocurrency is intended as electronic money that users can exchange anonymously and without intermediaries. But that anonymity comes with transparency: Cryptocurrency transactions are inscribed in an open digital ledger, the blockchain, which provides a record of how assets flow through the system. Companies such as Chainalysis and Elliptic have created software to aid law enforcement investigations into illicit activities involving cryptocurrency. In contrast, these new amateur detectives rely on their hunches and tips from others, use free tools to examine blockchain activity, and broadcast their findings from pseudonymous Twitter accounts like Gabagool, Zach, and Sisyphus.”


Penn State: Multi-university project to focus on language and history of the Choctaw Nation. “Working with a ‘rare and rich’ digital archive of 19th-century Choctaw language court documents, Penn State history scholars and graduate students are partnering with linguists from the University of Florida on a multi-faceted initiative called the Choctaw Language and History Workshop. The project, which promotes a new model for graduate students studying Native American history, will have multiple deliverables, including several scholarly articles and a Choctaw language dictionary developed in consultation with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.”

PC Magazine: We Read Twitter for Entertainment, Trust It for News (Unless We Vote Republican). “Two new studies from the Pew Research Center on American use of Twitter find both a surprising level of trust in that social platform and a partisan divide in views about it. They also suggest Twitter’s privacy interfaces need serious work. These studies released Monday—The Behaviors and Attitudes of US Adults on Twitter and News on Twitter: Consumed by Most Users and Trusted by Many—shed new light on the social platform that continues to draw far more debate than you might expect for a service only used by 23% of Americans, per a Pew study released in May.” Good morning, Internet…

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