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Data Roundup, 26 March

- March 26, 2014 in 5 star scheme, brain, data narration, Data Roundup, etl problems, FiveThirtyEight, guarino, human trafficking, json, Mappable, Tim Berners-Lee, Whellmap

Eowyn_86 – Salvem La Balena / Save The Whale

Tools, Events, Courses It is true that JSON is increasingly becoming the standard when it comes to API formats, but what if you need to convert it into a much more organized CSV file? Thanks to Eric Mill, now you can do it quickly with this tool. Read more about it in “Making JSON as simple as a spreadsheet”. Data Stories Dave Guarino tells us what ETL problems are and how we can succeed in solving them when we have to collect and re-organize datasets lost God-only-knows-where in the Web. What is the difference between data storytelling and data narratives? Dino Citraro from Periscopic explains it in his short and brilliant post “A Framework for Talking About Data Narration”. It has not even been a week since the launch of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, and it is already attracting criticism from influential experts in the field, both journalists and not. If you are interested in reading a roundup of these opinions, take a look at Alberto Cairo’s blog and at Mark Coddington’s article on the Nieman Journalism Lab. The most honorable use of data collection and analysis is certainly that which helps people improve their life. Katie Fehrenbacher recently posted an article on Gigaom on how data can fight human trafficking around the world which absolutely deserves to be read. Have you ever wondered how our brain stores information? Do you want to know what is the main task of your hippocampus? Find all the answers in this infographic published on the Daily Infographic. What prevents the emergence of open data-driven businesses in emerging countries? Is it possible to fuel innovation in these states through the establishment of a new investment fund? According to Prasanna Las Das from the World Bank Data Blog, this is the right time to do it. Data Sources Public transportation means are not always easily accessible by anyone. There could be people with difficulties (disabled or injured persons) which do not allow them to move freely on a metro. Mappable recreated an interesting series of maps showing those metro stations in Hamburg, London, and New York which are considered to be wheelchair accessible. The article also contains a link to Wheelmap, a web app developed to monitor and display wheelchair accessibility around the world. There are always experts that give useful suggestions on how to deal with open data, but these ones actually come from the father of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, and you may not to miss them. If you read this 5-star deployment scheme, you will find interesting insights on the costs and benefits of web data. To celebrate the World Water Day, the US open data portal released a series of datasets related to American coasts, oceans, and lakes that you can browse in Credits Thanks to @jalbertbowdenii @zararah @DataAtCU flattr this!

The Brain of Charles Babbage (1909)

- November 12, 2012 in anatomy, brain, charles babbage, collections, computers, Images, Images-20th, Images-People, Images-Photography, Images-Science, Royal Society

Plates from a “Description of the Brain of Mr. Charles Babbage, F.R.S” published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1909). Credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs, Charles Babbage is considered to be the “father of the computer”. See the description of the brain here in our Texts collection. (All images taken from the book housed at the Internet Archive, donated by the Royal Society). Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

A Description of the Brain of Mr. Charles Babbage (1909)

- November 12, 2012 in anatomy, brain, charles babbage, collections, computers, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science

“Description of the Brain of Mr. Charles Babbage, F.R.S”, by V. Horsley in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Containing Papers of a Biological Character (1896-1934); 1909; Royal Society of London. Charles Babbage, (1791–1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer. Considered the “father of the computer”, Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs. Babbage himself decided that he wanted his brain to be donated to science upon his death. In a letter accompanying the donation, his son Henry wrote: I have no objection…to the idea of preserving the brain…Please therefore do what you consider best…[T]he brain should be known as his, and disposed of in any manner which you consider most conducive to the advancement of human knowledge and the good of the human race. Half of Babbage’s brain is preserved at the Hunterian Museum in the Royal College of Surgeons in London, the other half is on display in the Science Museum in London. See images of Babbage’s brain taken from the last pages of the report here in our Images collection. The book is [...]