Monday, April 4, 2016

Forget Neflix Binging, DataUSA.io Is All I Want

MIT Media lab has built a GUI in front of the vast data store of US public records. It's the biggest time-swamp I've stepped into since the 2nd season of Daredevil. It's an amazing aggregation of data into visualization sets. It is simply, "the most comprehensive website and visualization engine of public US Government data." Look into a location and it'll break down per capita demographics from housing to health and safety.

Even more interesting, to me, than the impressive interface, and underlying search logic, is that the code is open source. All of the content on the site is presented under a GNU Affero General Public License v3.0 (GPLv3). Developers can hack together their own interface from JSON calls into the four core categories of data: geographies, occupations, industries and educational studies.

And looking back at superheroes, DataUSA includes several interesting topical narratives, as with "ARE WE HAVING FUN YET? WHO WORKS IN THE ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT, AND RECREATION INDUSTRY."
Now, not everybody who works in the industry is a rock star—or an athlete. But a surprising share of employees in the industry do, in fact, have something to do with athletics.
Well, that justifies my earlier hours with the Marvel hero of Hell's Kitchen. I wonder what else I'll discover . . .