[Humanist] 31.484 historial trading relations database

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Dec 22 11:15:44 CET 2017

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 31, No. 484.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2017 10:09:21 +0100
        From: Paul GIRARD <paul.girard at sciencespo.fr>
        Subject: Official release of the ‘RICardo Project’ database

Dear colleagues,

RICardo (Research on International Commerce) is a project dedicated to trade
between nations over a period spanning the beginning of the Industrial
Revolution to the eve of the Second World War.

We are very pleased to announce the official release of the RICardo dataset
on the occasion of the bicentenary of David Ricardo’s Principles. The
RICardo database  http://github.com/medialab/ricardo_data/ contains 368,871
bilateral or total trade flows from 1787 to 1938 for 373 reporting entities.
It is now freely available under the Open Database License
http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/1.0/  described under the Data
Package format <https://frictionlessdata.io/guides/data-package/>. Our data
(and transformation scripts) are now opened to anyone to fuel research, to
check our work or to get inspired for similar projects in Digital

This release contains new data. Compared with the preliminary version opened
to the public in July 2016, this updated version provides an extended trade
database with new sources and new data. We were able to include many new
primary sources thanks to the exploitation of a rich collection of trade
statistics archived by the Institut national de la statistique et des
études économiques (Insee). The process of adding and filtering data
allowed us to correct some errors and anomalies remaining in the preceding

We also reworked our exploration tool, the RICardo website
http://ricardo.medialab.sciences-po.fr/ , which has been improved in
multiple ways (thanks to the help of grants accorded by Sciences Po). A new
graphical identity and better documentations including, besides the trade
database, an exchange rate database, a directory of all the entities listed
in the trade database, and a directory of data sources (see the corpus
webpage  http://ricardo.medialab.sciences-po.fr/#/corpus ).

Hopefully, this will not be the last version. The trade database still needs
to be completed, especially for the period 1914-1923, and with new primary
sources overall. We are also thinking of new features to better exploit the
data, such as a political codification of entities over time. Moreover,
anomalies can still remain yet to be corrected. We are very grateful for
remarks and comments that would help us in improving this work. They can be
posted on our Hypotheses blog http://ricardo.hypotheses.org/ .

We will also use this blog to discuss the choices we made and document the
issues we tackled in a series of blog posts to come.

With our best wishes,

Béatrice Dedinger and Paul Girard

--Paul Girard
directeur technique médialab

27 rue Saint-Guillaume 75337 Paris cedex 07 France
paul.girard at sciencespo.fr <prenom.nom at sciencespo.fr>

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