Newsdev Roundup, August 29

This week in news development

First, in OpenNews news, the Knight News Challenge on mobile is now live. You have till noon EDT on September 10th to apply. Get to typing!

Code, app & site releases

The Washington Post launched The Grid, its platform for covering live events, with Grid coverage of the Republican National Convention. Meanwhile, the NPR apps team announced its own live event coverage app for the RNC.

Fire Forecast, another NPR app, launched last week. It tracks current large wildfires and forecast burning conditions in the lower 48 states of the US, and is built on data from the US Forest Service.

Also from the Washington Post, Jeremy Bowers and Jason Bartz announced the launch of the new Washington Post API portal and the release of APIs for the data behind the Issue Engine site, the White House Visitors Database, and the Campaign Finance Explorer.

John Keefe and the team at WNYC produced an interactive map showing where registered Republicans live in the five boroughs of New York City. (Related story and audio.)

ProPublica redesigned its Bailout Tracker app, which tracks “every dollar and every recipient” for the TARP bill and the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The newly announced HuffPost Labs launched its first project, HuffPost Highlights, which displays content snippets that Huffington Post readers have selected and copied.

Finally, Zach Wise and the Knight News Innovation Lab launched redesigned new TimelineJS site, which now includes changelogs, FAQs, a project gallery, and more.

TimelineJS homepage, showing a demo of a visual timeline
The new TimelineJS website

Data & visualizations

The Guardian’s data team analyzed MRSA-related deaths in England and Wales, and analyzed and mapped data on firearms licence holders in Northern Ireland. They also analyzed 2012 GCSE results by subject, gender, and region and mapped carbon emissions per capita mapped for each UK local authority.
The Guardian's carbon emissions map
The Guardian’s carbon emissions map

Upcoming news dev events

Hacks/Hackers NYC is holding a session on Visualizing Politics Sept. 7th at Parsons, with guests Andrew Garcia Phillips, Jeff Larson, and Vizzuality.

The Washington Post announced the Election Hackathon 2012 it’s running in collaboration with NPR and the Sunlight Foundation. It’s taking place October 6th and 7th, 2012 at the The Washington Post. There will be prizes.

Event wrap-ups

The London Development Data Challenge was held this week. They left behind an Etherpad and a string of tweets, and Claire Provost and Jaz Cummins did a full write-up about the event and its results at the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog.

The New York Times posted video from their TimesOpen event on HTML5, Apps and JavaScript, which was held August 15th. Alex Komoroske talked about Web Components and Eric Schorr introduced an HTML5 crossword as an example of new possibilities. Terry Ryan’s talk covered modern web development tools, and hasn’t been posted yet in video, but it’s covered in the event’s wrap-up blog post.

Jobs, fellowships & education

The BBC is looking for a senior Ruby engineer with “knowledge of speech recognition, audio analysis, streaming a/v, machine learning or search technologies,” the Denver Post is hiring a senior HTML5 and iOS developer, and the Texas Tribune is hiring a web designer.

Open Knowledge Foundation/Peer 2 Peer University collaboration School of Data is seeking a test cohort for its first course, “What Is Data.”

Oh, and did we mention that the Knight News Challenge on mobile is now open? September 10th is the deadline. Make a note.


The ONA Online Journalism Awards finalists were announced.

The Columbia Journalism Review posted an analysis and walkthrough of NPR and Development Seed’s map of changes in the Hispanic population of the US using 2010 census data.

On the Guardian dev blog, Andy Hume outlined the Guardian’s position on whether to rely HTML5 or build native apps (spoiler: the answer is yes).

Libby Miller and Chris Newell at the BBC introduced the ViSTA-TV (Video Stream Analytics for Viewers in the TV Industry) project, a “two-year collaborative research project about linked open data, statistics and recommendations for live TV, involving online TV viewing data, programme metadata and other external sources of data.”

New Guardian developers Max Harlow and Lindsey Dew wrote a post about what they wished they’d known earlier in their careers.

The BBC R&D weeknotes for last week include references to privacy and security, “the ethnographic study of authentication in everyday life,” and self-replicating robots.

Additions and corrections

Want to add or correct information? Send a note to erink@mozillafoundation.org or find us on Twitter at @Source.



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