This is a periodic newsletter of the interesting things we’ve seen and what we are thinking about in open source policy analysis.

Tax-Calculator at the February Policy Simulation Library (PSL) meeting. OSPC is hosting PSL DC’s monthly meeting on Monday, February 25, at 12:00 p.m. at AEI headquarters in Washington, DC. After updates from various members of the open-source community, the meeting will feature a presentation from Martin Holmer (Policy Simulation Group) on Tax-Calculator, an open-source, microsimulation model of the federal individual income and payroll tax system. Link

FiveThirtyEight releases its data. This week, FiveThirtyEight released the data and code behind many of its articles and graphics in a GitHub repository. In the spirit of open-source analysis, the website invites users to “check our work and to create stories and visualization of your own.” Link and Link

Open-source tool to mitigate the effects of oil spills. The Office of Response and Restoration (ORR) in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has developed an open-source tool for oil spill planners and responders, called the Response Option Calculator (ROC). The ROC predicts the efficacy of the three primary oil spill countermeasures – chemicals that disperse the oil (“dispersants”), devices that remove oil from the surface (“skimmers”), and burning of the oil slick (“in situ burning”) – to help planners prepare and responders react to oil spills. In 2018, the ORR responded to 201 oil spills and chemical releases, using tools such as the ROC to limit the damage. The ROC can be used in a web browser and the underlying source code is available for download. Link

PSL introduces newsletter and Twitter feed. PSL recently circulated its inaugural monthly newsletter and launched the Twitter account, @PSLmodels. PSL model users can read the newsletter for monthly highlights of the PSL models and follow the PSL Twitter account for real-time updates. Link and Link

AnacondaCON speaker lineup released. OSPC’s Anderson Frailey and Hank Doupe will present on TaxBrain, the web interface for Tax-Calculator and other open-source tax models in the three-day, data science conference in Austin, Texas from April 3 to April 5. Link

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Edited by Matt Jensen
American Enterprise Institute