Code in Journalism Roundup, February 7th
New Apps and Features, Write-ups, and Community Projects
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen new apps, new map releases, and plenty of community projects and conversations. In the US, the NICAR convention is around the corner (see Chrys Wu’s preparatory write-up).
Also, just about everyone got hacked.
Politics & Money
ProPublica mapped US Congressional Sandy aid votes and FEMA funding awarded by district, noting that many members from areas that received millons of dollars in disaster aid voted against the Sandy relief measure.
At MinnPost, Tom Nehil, Kaeti Hinck, and Alan Palazzolo made a graphic primer for MN Governor Dayton’s budget proposal.
Periscopic produced an animation and data visualization on US gun murders in 2010, using data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports and the WHO (for life expectancy). The team behind the project thanked Jerome Cukier (who visualized the same data set differently) and spoke with Fast Company about the project’s purpose:
We’re not looking at aggregate numbers. We’re not trying to analyze this data. This data was living and breathing, and has now been extinguished. We’re hoping to keep their flames living on in the hearts of others.
WNYC’s John Keefe, Stephen Reader, Steven Melendez, and Louise Ma created a map overlay showing current NYC satellite maps contrasted with an 1891 map showing the substantial changes to the Jamaica Bay coastline. The WNYC team also made Dogs of NYC, an interactive about…the puppies. They used Stamen Design’s Watercolor map tiles and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s dog license data to map popular names and breeds, and La Nacion’s data blog did a writeup of the project. Corresponding information about NYC’s cats and hamsters remains sadly unavailable.
Base Maps & Data Sets
At the LA Times, Ben Welsh introduced Silent LA, an open source black base map for Southern California, with hat-tips to MapBox’s osm-bright, Radical Cartography, and the Chicago Tribune news apps team. The National Park Service introduced Park Tiles, a TileMill-based base map for US National Parks, and in their introductory post discussed the sources of their data and the tech tools they used to create the map. The CTIC published a sortable list of all the public data sets it could find.
Alex Howard ran a Google Hangout on data journalism (above) with Mac Slocum (O’Reilly), Anthony DeBarros (USA Today), Brian Boyer (NPR), Dave Stanton (SmartMedia Creative), Michelle Minkoff (AP), Tariq Kokhar (the World Bank), Chris Keller (Southern California Public Radio), and Simon Rogers (The Guardian).
Perhaps most importantly, we’ll try to give you some direction on how to “get the skillz”. I, for one, am looking forward to learning from the other instructors. Maybe Jeff Larson of ProPublica will help me finally get “Rails”. Maybe Jacqui Maher of the New York Times will help me be more of a powerhouse in terms of the systems it takes to run dev ops.
And finally, at Reporter’s Lab, Tyler Dukes wrote up several panels and talks from the 2013 Computation + Journalism Symposium at Georgia Tech and Sarah Marshall of Journalism.co.uk did a writeup on PANDA and its uses.