Poll the audience: Using data from citizen science to keep wild birds in flight

Read the full story from Utah State University.

New research examines the accuracy of information produced by citizen science apps for monitoring bird populations and found that it could actually offer a lot of utility for researchers, with some caveats.

Animated map of EV charging stations shows huge dead zones around the country

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Electric vehicles are clearly the future, but their mass adoption is somewhat hindered by infrastructure rollout—namely, the charging stations that drivers need to keep them powered, especially on long cross-country trips.

But data compiled from geographic information systems firm Esri shows that some areas of the United States are doing better than others when it comes to charging stations. Using data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, Esri has made an interactive map that shows the charging stations along major U.S. interstate routes that are over 1,000 miles long.

What climate choices should cities make? A Princeton data tool helps planners set priorities.

Read the full story from Princeton University. See also the results of Princeton’s Net Zero America project, which includes data sheets for all 50 states.

A new tool for city planners helps them design a portfolio of actions that encompasses compact development, smart electric mobility, electric heating systems, mass timber construction, urban reforestation, and technologies that allow resources to circulate efficiently through the food, waste and energy sectors.

A very British climate project unites soggy weather and a Victorian work ethic

Read the full story in the New York Times.

As Britain went into its first Covid lockdown, a scientist asked for help transcribing rainfall records spanning three centuries. Thousands of people online answered the call.

Making the collective knowledge of chemistry open and machine actionable

Jablonka, K.M., Patiny, L. & Smit, B. (2022). “Making the collective knowledge of chemistry open and machine actionable.” Nature Chemistry 14, 365–376. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-022-00910-7

Abstract: Large amounts of data are generated in chemistry labs—nearly all instruments record data in a digital form, yet a considerable proportion is also captured non-digitally and reported in ways non-accessible to both humans and their computational agents. Chemical research is still largely centred around paper-based lab notebooks, and the publication of data is often more an afterthought than an integral part of the process. Here we argue that a modular open-science platform for chemistry would be beneficial not only for data-mining studies but also, well beyond that, for the entire chemistry community. Much progress has been made over the past few years in developing technologies such as electronic lab notebooks that aim to address data-management concerns. This will help make chemical data reusable, however it is only one step. We highlight the importance of centring open-science initiatives around open, machine-actionable data and emphasize that most of the required technologies already exist—we only need to connect, polish and embrace them.

NC State professor transforms data into conservation

Read the full story from the NC State Technician

Roland Kays, a research associate professor in the College of Natural Resources and scientist at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, has dedicated years to transforming data into conservation. 

In the early 2000s, Kays was tracking the movement of animals on an island in Panama. Kays, Martin Wikelski and other researchers built an automated telemetry system. According to MOTUS, automated telemetry systems use receivers that record signals from transmitters to track large animals. 

“We built another system, which was an automated telemetry system, that let us locate animals, and it was generating a ton of data,” Kays said.

Due to the large amount of data their system was generating, Wikelski and Kays developed software Movebank capable of managing that data. Kays said Movebank was initially just a database where people could upload files. Then, they added livestreams, and have been expanding ever since.

Electricity Map

Electricity Map’s open-source visualization shows the the climate impact of global electricity use in real time. Raw data are retrieved from a variety of public data sources, typically transmission system operators, balancing entities or market operators, which are listed here.

Web scraping is legal, US appeals court reaffirms

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

Good news for archivists, academics, researchers and journalists: Scraping publicly accessible data is legal, according to a U.S. appeals court ruling.

The landmark ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals is the latest in a long-running legal battle brought by LinkedIn aimed at stopping a rival company from web scraping personal information from users’ public profiles. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court last year but was sent back to the Ninth Circuit for the original appeals court to re-review the case.

In its second ruling on Monday, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its original decision and found that scraping data that is publicly accessible on the internet is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA, which governs what constitutes computer hacking under U.S. law.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision is a major win for archivists, academics, researchers and journalists who use tools to mass collect, or scrape, information that is publicly accessible on the internet. Without a ruling in place, long-running projects to archive websites no longer online and using publicly accessible data for academic and research studies have been left in legal limbo.

Net Zero Tracker

The Net Zero Tracker collects data on targets net zero targets pledged by nations, states and regions, cities and companies, as well as on factors that indicate the integrity of those targets — essentially, how serious the entity setting the target is about meaningfully cutting its net emissions to zero.

It includes data on:

  • all countries and territories, every region in the 25 largest emitting countries and all cities with 500,000+ inhabitants.
  • an overview of the 2,000 largest publicly-traded companies in the world by revenue. They analyze the key components of any net zero (or other) targets the company has announced.

A new near-real-time global database on CO2 emissions from air transport

Read the full story from OECD.

Air transport facilitates international trade and tourism and contributes to economic growth and job creation, but it also produces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that contribute to global warming. The OECD has developed a new database using a near real-time data source from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to produce estimates of CO2 emissions from air transport. The new estimates have global coverage and ensure a consistent allocation of CO2 emissions across countries. The data and methods are described in a Working Paper published today.