by Celia Llopis-Jepsen
Topeka, Kansas — What if researchers could go to a single hub for vast deposits of information on a range of issues from water quality to court rulings to the medicinal powers of marijuana?
Armed with all that existing research, they might begin to draw conclusions that apply across the country. They might also avoid repeating the work of other researchers.
Two professors at Kansas State University, Nathaniel Birkhead and Audrey Joslin, have begun construction on that online, open-source data hub. They’re teaming with colleagues at Rochester University, University of Notre Dame, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Charlotte and North Carolina A&T State University.
That open-knowledge network — one that non-computer-savvy researchers anywhere could tap into — could make available state data on everything from Supreme Court decisions to preschool access to water quality.
The website’s built-in data visualization tools would let people scour for links between those many data sets to understand what influences public health and more.
“The whole point is to make it something that’s accessible,” said Birkhead, a political scientist, “that people can come to without having to have computer programming skills.”
Experts from political science, geography, ethics and other fields teamed up to create the data hub, which isn’t yet viewable to the public.
The project, still in its infancy, won money from the National Science Foundation. The team hopes to secure more funding from the NSF after finishing work to demonstrate how the data hub could be used to explore topics like opioids, the environment and medical marijuana.
Already, researchers across the country put painstaking hours into gathering state or regional data for their work. And though they increasingly upload it online, it’s not centralized in a way that stops others from wasting time hunting down the exact same thing.
Joslin, a geographer who studies conservation policies, knows what it’s like putting together hard-to-get information, such as the wildfire data that she works with.
“A lot of this isn’t easily accessible,” she said. “You have to contact individual — either state, federal or local — governments.”
Smarter online access could help everyone from public policymakers and nonprofit groups to journalists and private citizens.
“If we’re able to create a place where we could put all this stuff and make it accessible to everybody,” Joslin said, “then everybody sort of wins.”
Celia Llopis-Jepsen reports on consumer health and education for the Kansas News Service. You can follow her on Twitter @Celia_LJ or email her at celia (at) kcur (dot) org. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on the health and well-being of Kansans, their communities and civic life.
Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.
See more at https://www.kcur.org/post/k-state-host-massive-research-data-hub-everything-marijuana-education.
An accident was reported on eastbound I-670 at I-70 about 4:04 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, according to KC Scout. (KC Scout photo)
A new restaurant, the Blind Box BBQ, opened today inside Nebraska Furniture Mart.
According to a spokesman, the restaurant had a soft opening last week with its grand opening today at the store at 1601 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas.
It is the second location for Blind Box BBQ, which has another location at 13214 W. 62nd Terrace, Shawnee, Kansas.
The 7,000-square-foot restaurant features a bar area with state-of-the-art audio and video for sports-watching and a patio for outdoor dining and drinking, the spokesman stated.
“We wanted to give our customers a place to land, to think about purchases and to have a better experience overall,” said Ethan Stover, store director of NFM’s Kansas City location, in a news release. “Our store is 450,000 square feet, so sometimes you just need to rest. If you want to get some fresh air, there’s a patio, or if you want to hang out inside and watch the game, there are multiple TVs.”
Customers can also purchase a glass of wine or beer at the bar and sip while they shop the rest of the store.
“This is a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else in Kansas City,” Stover said.
The menu will feature signature barbecued items such as pulled pork, beef brisket, burnt ends and smoked sausage as well as non-barbecue items. Customers can also order espresso drinks or homemade pastries or desserts from the coffee bar. A full bar will serve wine, beer, signature cocktails and whiskey flights.
“We believe NFM shares the same values we do – to create the absolute best customer experience while delivering a superior product,” said Joe Tulipana, owner-iperator of Blind Box BBQ. “We are thrilled to be able to appeal to both Kansas City shoppers and visitors alike, elevating their experience with delicious barbecue and libations.”
The Pressed Pig (Coffee and Pastry) inside NFM will be open from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with Blind Box BBQ being open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Sunday’s both The Pressed Pig and Blind Box BBQ will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Previously, there was a Quizno’s sandwich shop at NFM.