The anchor page for DataUSA's profile of Portland, Ore.
DataUSA The anchor page for DataUSA's profile of Portland, Ore.

Public data sets can be immensely useful to architects and designers when planning a project, particularly in an unfamiliar market, but they are often unwieldy and difficult to cull. A new website from the MIT Media Lab and consulting firm Deloitte parses through the numbers to create open-source visualizations of demographic data at the city, metro, county, and state levels that are free to use and share. DataUSA supplies population, household income, and age figures for these areas, as well as breakdowns for demographics subsets such as education, housing and living, and health and safety. “It’s different from other sites because, in this case, we’re making data available not in the way that it’s collected, but in the way that it’s being used,” Cesar Hidalgo, a DataUSA co-creator and the director of the MIT Media Lab's Macro Connections group, told CityLab. “We’re taking data that was very deep in the Web to the surface of the Web.” The visualizations can be downloaded, embedded, and shared. The website also includes articles on trends that the team has identified in the data, such as what accounts for the rise in urban planning academic degrees and the connection between obesity, diabetes, and geography. Data sources include the American Community Survey, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the University of Wisconsin County Health Rankings, and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. [CityLab + DataUSA]

ICYMI: The roof of the forthcoming Minnesota Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium, by Dallas-based HKS Architects, will feature the largest expanse of ETFE in North America. [ARCHITECT]

Researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in Sweden, have created a transparent wood-composite that exhibits the strength of the natural material while letting light pass through. [Fast Company’s Co.Design]

In Dubai, a fleet of drones has been tasked with monitoring littering throughout the city's streets. [Mashable]

A review of Moleskine’s new Smart Writing Set, which duplicates what users write in a smart notebook with a smart pen into a mobile app. [Wired]

Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto uses spotlights to create a field of luminous cones through which visitors can wander in his Milan Design Week 2016 installation for the fashion label COS. [Core77]

The link between architecture and the perfect heist. [Vice]

An interdisciplinary research team at the University of California, Los Angeles, is using carbon dioxide emissions captured from power plants to create 3D-printable concrete. [Phys.Org]