Features / Project
In the year-and-a-bit we’ve been publishing Source, we’ve built up a solid archive of project walkthroughs, introductions to new tools and libraries, and case studies. They’re all tagged and searchable, but as with most archives presented primarily in reverse-chron order, pieces tend to attract less attention once they fall off the first page of a given section. We’ve also been keeping an eye out for ways of inviting in readers who haven’t been following along since we started Source, and who may be a little newer to journalism code—either to the “code” or the “journalism” part.
If you want to show information with a geographical component, you should start with a map, right? Not so fast, writes Tasneem Raja. Questioning your assumptions can help you make something much more effective.
The NICAR conference is this week, but the news nerd fun doesn’t end there.
The Reuters Graphics team’s unusual Fed interactive grabbed our attention when it appeared late last month and sparked some interesting conversations on Twitter. Reuters Global Head of Graphics Maryanne Murray and Interactive Data Designer Charlie Szymanski kindly wrote up their rationale and process for us.
More things learned about process, expectations, and how to build a functioning team in two days, from Dan Sinker and the 2014 OpenNews Fellows.
KPCC developed a news app to track fires in California last summer. Chris Keller explains how, and what they’ve learned since.
Time’s interactive graphic editor explains how he built a not-so-random film blurb madlibs generator in the run-up to the Academy Awards.
David Eads wants to start a conversation about the power of data-driven journalism to engage and teach new developers, and he needs your feedback.
At the Chicago Tribune, we had a simple goal: to automatically tweet contributions to Illinois politicians of $1,000 or more, which campaigns are required to report within five business days. To see, in something approximating real time, which campaigns are bringing in the big bucks and who those big-buck-bearers are. The Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) has helpfully published exactly this data for years online, in a format that appears to have changed very little since at least the mid-2000s. There’s no API for this data, but the stability of the format is encouraging. A scraper is hardly an ideal tool for anything intended to last for a while and produce public-facing data, but if we can count on the format of the page not to change much over at least the next several months, it’s probably worth it.
Last month, while the team behind today’s NYT redesign were crunching away on final adjustments, another team at the Times launched Today’s Paper, an infinite-scrolling, offline-caching web app available to the paper’s subscribers. We spoke with three members of the team—a developer, a designer, and an editor—about the project’s challenges and ambitions.
The New York Times just launched the first piece of their sitewide redesign: new article pages, with other tweaks and nudges throughout the site. We spoke with two designers and a developer who worked on the project to learn about the tech choices, design ideas, and strategy behind the new look and feel.
The U.S. Treasury’s Daily Treasury Statement lists actual cash spending down to the million on everything the government spent money on each day, as well as how it funded the spending. But, the Treasury only releases these files in PDF or fixed-width text files like this one, making any analysis very difficult.
To liberate the data and make it easy to analyze federal money flows across time, we created Treasury.IO. The system we built downloads and parses the fixed-width files into a standard schema, creating a SQLite database that can be directly queried via a URL endpoint.
The Wall Street Journal’s Chris Canipe explains how his team built their second-ever immersive project.
Late last week, a good-sized chunk of the newsroom developers I follow on Twitter linked to the Guardian’s open sourced front-end code for their website, documented in full on GitHub. We spoke with with developer manager Matt Chadburn about the project.
The team behind the Book Concierge talks about their design work, implementation details, and team dynamics.
“Behind the Bloodshed: The Untold Story of America’s Mass Killings,” is a collaboration between the database team at USA Today and Gannett Digital’s interactive applications and design teams. We chatted with Anthony DeBarros of Gannett Digital, with input from colleagues Juan Thomassie and Destin Frasier, on how the project came together.
Back in April of this year, NPR’s Planet Money began a Kickstarter campaign to learn about and report on global supply chains by making a t-shirt and telling the story of its creation from start to finish. The new Visuals team at NPR collaborated on the project’s web manifestation, which went live last night, but the source code is already on GitHub, and we spoke with team lead Brian Boyer about the collaboration.
The Guardian’s Gabriel Dance and Feilding Cage break down their process, from storyboards and video production to major design changes and development challenges.
Al Jazeera America’s Joanna S. Kao on annotating and visualizing the Adobe database hack.
At the Los Angeles Times, a design-editorial-programming team has resurrected the spirit of the beloved, out-of-print California Cookbook as a new website collecting hundreds of recipes from the Times Test Kitchen. In our Q&A, the project’s editor, designer, and lead programmer share their goals and challenges, and offer a peek at the site’s building blocks and planned future.