The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has maintained a dataset of mugshot photos of 1,573 people for decades, including 175 minors, until we asked about them By Jon Keegan
Hello World is a weekly newsletter—delivered every Saturday morning—that goes deep into our original reporting and the questions we put to big thinkers in the field. Browse the archive here.
My name is Jon Keegan, and I’m an investigative data reporter here at The Markup. Recently I’ve been writing about how companies have been monetizing our data in many aspects of our daily lives—at the supermarket, as we drive our cars, and when we check in to see where our kids are.
Over the years my reporting has often taken me deep into various government agency websites, and I have always been amazed to see the incredible variety of public data that our government collects. I have a background in art and design, so I’ve made a habit of keeping a spreadsheet of the more unusual data that is visually interesting. Last fall I started publishing a newsletter called Beautiful Public Data that lets me share to a wider audience these quirky collections, alongside reporting on why and how they came to exist. For Beautiful Public Data, I’ve written about the official federal style guide for America’s highways, a crazy chart showing how our radio frequencies are sliced up, and the National Library of Medicine’s database of 8,693 pills. As a reader of The Markup, you’d probably like it!