Episode 1: Scavenger hunt!

Let’s kick things off with something a bit unusual: a virtual scavenger hunt.

At some point, nearly every web geek gets a chance to hack on some open data, usually from a government source. The buzzword here is “mashup,” but knowing how to find and consume openly available data will remain a valuable skill long after its faddishness ends.

Unfortunately, governments, and especially the US government, are often incredibly awful at providing this data. Sure, it’s available — but you’ve got to find it first.

So this question is all about finding that data. Since I’m most familiar with the USA, this question is USA-specific (but I’d love to see answers to any questions that apply to other nations).

In each case, the answer should be a URL where you can either download the data in question, or at least find a direct link to the data. There may be multiple sources for each, including ones that could be screen-scraped for the data. I’m not looking for those sources, however — just the ones with easily downloadable data in a format that can be easily parsed by a computer (i.e. CSV, XML, plain text). “Friendly” formats, in other words.

So, where can I download data to:

  1. Analyze the nutritional content of foods?
  2. Find the population (and other basic demographics) of my city?
  3. Analyze the latest SEC filings by public companies?
  4. Look at historical gas prices?
  5. Look for trends in juvenile arrest rates?

Post your answers into the comments. For extra brownie points, tell us how you located each piece of data — did The Google serve you well, or were you forced to turn elsewhere?

If you really want to stretch your brain, try to write a tool to import each chunk of data into your favorite relational database. There will be a related question in a couple of weeks involving modeling one of these pieces of data, so you overachievers can start thinking about it now…

Good luck, and check back this weekend for the answers.


Category: community Time: 2006-11-14 Views: 1

Related post

  • Answers to Episode 1 (Scavenger Hunt) 2006-11-20

    Welcome back, scavengers! If you missed it, this week's challenge deals with finding computer-readable public data resources. Before getting to the answers, though, let's talk a little about technique. Finding public data By law (in the US), much of

  • Episode 4: What's "normal," really? 2006-12-14

    Sorry about the missed week, fellow puzzlers - real life, and all that - I'll try not to let it happen again. Anyway, let's get right to this week's question. A few weeks ago, I posted a scavenger hunt for public data (answers); today we'll return to

  • SitePoint Podcast #89: Podcast of the Year 2010-11-26

    Episode 89 of The SitePoint Podcast is now available! This week your hosts are Patrick O'Keefe (@iFroggy), Stephan Segraves (@ssegraves), Brad Williams (@williamsba), and Kevin Yank (@sentience). Listen in your Browser Play this episode directly in y

  • SitePoint Podcast #96: The Plug-in Wars 2011-01-22

    Episode 96 of The SitePoint Podcast is now available! This week your hosts are Patrick O'Keefe (@iFroggy), Stephan Segraves (@ssegraves), Brad Williams (@williamsba), and Kevin Yank (@sentience). Listen in Your Browser Play this episode directly in y

  • What kind of UI metaphors can I use for this game-like community map interface? 2012-02-12

    I'm developing an interactive map for a local community WiFi network, where upcoming groups/meetings/alerts/etc. can be "dropped" onto the map, based on location. Through user engagement over time, some of these "dropped" items might g

  • How to test usability on competing mock ups cost-effectively? 2013-04-11

    I have a client that is very opinionated about what she likes and dislikes about my design and moves things around to where they "look right" for her. I want to test my original mock-ups vs her revised ones with users but they are only mock ups.

  • setup postfix/dovecot by hand 2013-08-20

    I was thinking of setting up a standalone mail server and I like the filtering + quota features that ispconfig adds to the setup. How can I recreate an exact same setup postfix/dovecot by hand so that I can run a standalone mail server that doesn't r

  • Which household electronics contain or used to contain photo multiplier tubes? 2015-05-09

    I would like to get my hands on one, but I am unsure where to find them (other than online). Are there any old household electronics that have them, used to have them? I am willing to go scavenge hunting for some. --------------Solutions-------------

  • Is the use of a QR code worth the space it requires? 2015-07-29

    I recently had a discussion with a client. He asked me if I felt a QR code on a marketing piece would be beneficial. I asked him, "What would the code contain? What information would the code convey?" His general response was "contact infor

  • The Struggle is Real: The Story Behind The Pitch 2015-10-12

    The moment when it's 3 a.m., and you're so energized by your idea that you can't sleep. The 15 minutes you spend just pacing and imagining a future when your vision is a reality, when life is better, your goals accomplished, the naysayers silenced. T

  • Downloaded MP3 File Opens Wrong App 2016-06-09

    I downloaded an audio file (a podcast, 41MB, .mp3). After it downloaded, I tried playing the file by selecting the file via the pull-down menu. I also tried by opening up the Downloads app and selecting the file (not long-pressing). Both of these met

  • What the name of this kind of image effect available at this page [on hold] 2016-07-07

    I want to know how to do this kind of effect available at the "scavenger hunt" https://www.freelancer.com/scavenger/?utm_campaign=scavhunt2016launch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=&ft_prog=MEE&ft_prog_id=139000002#

  • End the Job Hunt - 3 Secrets The Recruiters Won't Tell You 2002-07-30

    Apparently the IT industry has recently been having a rough time of it in London- and everywhere else, for that matter. Since the well-publicised popping of the dot com bubble, it's no secret that there are fewer jobs around - and just as many people

  • Hunt the Linuxtag PHP Presentations 2004-06-29

    Seems this year's Linuxtag had a strong PHP showing in the LAMP Area. PHP Magazine has a write up here. The fun now is playing hunt the presentations: PHP tradition is for speakers to put them online – the question is where? Here's three to be going

  • How do I get back deleted podcast episodes to download again in iTunes? 2009-07-24

    I've deleted and (that is, removed from disk) some old episodes of a podcast and I would like iTunes to forget that I every downloaded and deleted them. How can I make them appear as un-downloaded (that is, grey with the "get" button showing) in

  • How do you permanently stop a particular podcast episode downloading in iTunes? 2009-09-29

    Every time I fire up iTunes and it automatically starts to get the lastest podcasts from my subscriptions, there are always some episodes that I don't want to get which happen to be the latest ones from a couple of rarely-updated podcasts. On the Dow

  • How to make iTunes download all podcast episodes irrespective of listened/not 2009-10-23

    I am a big iPod user (especially podcasts). I have used iPod touch, iPod classic and iPod nano. I noticed that iTunes stops downloading podcasts that you no longer listen to and stops downloading them. Is there a way to force iTunes to download all e

  • How can I delete a podcast episode from my iPhone? 2009-11-06

    I have an iPhone and an iPod. I'm subscribed to one podcast. My iPod is set up to download the 10 most recent unplayed, and the iPhone is set to download the 10 least recent unplayed. One night, I was listening to an episode of the podcast on my iPho

  • Boagworld Podcast Celebrates 200 Episodes 2010-02-16

    One of the biggest sources of inspiration behind the SitePoint Podcast has been the long-running Boagworld Podcast, which marked its 200th episode this past week by broadcasting a 12-hour live marathon. Regular Boagworld hosts Paul Boag and Marcus Li

iOS development

Android development

Python development

JAVA development

Development language

PHP development

Ruby development


Front-end development


development tools

Open Platform

Javascript development

.NET development

cloud computing


Copyright (C) avrocks.com, All Rights Reserved.

processed in 0.635 (s). 13 q(s)