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February 25 2011

04:48

Data Visualization Tools, Slides and Links from NICAR11

The first day of CAR2011 was stuffed full of information, so much so that the only way to keep up with everything is to keep a log of what people have been sharing.

I’ll update this post throughout the conference and organize it better over the weekend. In the meantime, prepare to have your mind blown.

Got links from sessions you attended? Post them in comments and I’ll add them to this list.

References

Analysis-ready census data (from USA Today, available to NICAR members only)
A directory of statistics bureaus by country (from Statistics Sweden)
Numberway.com – lookup phone numbers around the world
Little Sis – visualizing the networks of social, financial and political power
Data Visualization for Beginners (from the CAR2011 conference blog)
Tracking the Economy and Business (from the CAR2011 conference blog)
Getting into a data-oriented mindset (from Mary Jo Webster and Wendell Cochran)

Presentations

Almost Scraping: Web Scraping without Programming (from Michelle Minkoff and Matt Waite)

Data Visualization with JavaScript and HTML5 (from Jeff Larson)

PostGIS is Your New Bicycle – be wowed by a free alternative to costly desktop GIS (from Mike Corey and Ben Welsh)

Software & Tools

API Playground – try APIs, no coding skills necessary
ChangeTracker from ProPublica – track changes to any website
Google Fusion Tables
Needlebase
Protovis
R statistical analysis software
Simile Timeline
TimeFlow

Work Samples

The Killing Roads – interactive map of highway accidents in Norway

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November 24 2010

00:33

Feather: Aviary’s HTML5 Photo Editor

Here’s something fun and educational: Feather, an embeddable, lightweight HTML5 photo editor by Aviary. For user instructions, see the Goodle doc.

Want your own? Get the APIkey and auto-generated code from Aviary.com

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November 21 2010

19:58

Playing Around in Processing

polka dotsSee those dots? They’re not drawn. I programmed them using a 2D and 3D development environment called Processing.

It may not look like much, but it’s a start, thanks to a workshop taught by artist and instructor Jer Thorp, who’s currently Data Artist in Residence at The New York Times.

Sounds like a very cool job to me.

Meanwhile, this week’s assignment is to build on some of the workshop exercises — and to figure out how to export the files to my server so you can interact with them.

growing boxes

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September 30 2010

01:45

Journalism in the Age of Data

    Featuring (in order of appearance):

  • Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viégas, now at Google
  • Ben Fry, design and software consultant
  • Aaron Koblin, Google
  • Jeffrey Heer, Stanford University
  • Jim Ray, MSNBC.com
  • Amanda Cox, and her colleagues, Steve Duenes, Matthew Ericson, The New York Times
  • J. Paige West, MSNBC.com
  • Scott Byrne-Fraser, BBC News Online
  • Sarah Slobin, Wall Street Journal
  • Nigel Holmes, information graphics designer
  • John Grimwade, Condé Nast
  • Kevin Quealy, The New York Times
  • Richard Koci Hernandez, UC-Berkeley
  • Alberto Cairo, Editora Globo
  • Kris Viesselman, Society for News Design
  • Álvaro Valiño, Publico newspaper
  • Thomas Molén, Svenska Dagbladet
  • Nicholas Felton, information designer
  • Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen
  • Ola Rosling, ex-Google
  • Dana Priest, Washington Post
  • Shawn Allen, Stamen
  • Paul Steiger, ProPublica
  • Chase Davis, CaliforniaWatch.com
  • Eric Dédier, LeMonde.fr
  • Lisa Pickoff-White, CaliforniaWatch.org
  • Prof. Michael Stoll, University of Augsberg, Germany
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    August 17 2010

    16:56

    ‘Maps Are Not Neutral Documents’

    For a few years now, I’ve been keeping an eye on the Gel Conference, where people gather to talk about experience, perception and customer service.

    One of this year’s speakers was mapmaker Connie Brown of Redstone Studios. Her one-off painted maps show not just geography but perspective. In her 20-minute presentation, she shows us how maps are both descriptive and opinionated. It’s worth watching, whether your preference is for the science or the art of cartography.

    Enjoy.


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    16:56

    ‘Maps Are Not Neutral Documents’

    For a few years now, I’ve been keeping an eye on the Gel Conference, where people gather to talk about experience, perception and customer service.

    One of this year’s speakers was mapmaker Connie Brown of Redstone Studios. Her one-off painted maps show not just geography but perspective. In her 20-minute presentation, she shows us how maps are both descriptive and opinionated. It’s worth watching, whether your preference is for the science or the art of cartography.

    Enjoy.


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    August 06 2010

    09:09

    New York Times Graphics Editors Describe Their Process

    Graphics director Steve Duenes and graphics editor Archie Tse talk about what goes into the visual storytelling elements that The New York Times has become so known for.





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    09:09

    New York Times Graphics Editors Describe Their Process

    Graphics director Steve Duenes and graphics editor Archie Tse talk about what goes into the visual storytelling elements that The New York Times has become so known for.





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    July 22 2010

    17:43

    The Ups and Downs of Social Networks

    Who’s got the biggest social network per country? The BBC charted Nielsen’s figures from June 2010 and from a year ago. Facebook had the largest audience by far in both months, while MySpace has dropped quite a bit. What’s more interesting is the change in the amount of time people are spending on Facebook every month. I’d be very curious to get the demographic information on the surveyed population.

    BBC charts Nielsen social network audience numbers.

    (via BBC News)

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    July 15 2010

    17:09

    Another Reason to Understand Data Analysis

    I once knew a business editor who griped a lot about the typical story that would cross his desk: “You’re dazzling people with big numbers instead of telling them anything meaningful!”

    My takeaway: Always create context around data.

    When most people think of data, they think numbers. But most dictionary definitions define the term along the lines of “facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.” Remember that.

    As the technical foundation of online journalism moves toward structured, semantic data examined by people with expertise (or at least curiosity), we will probably find ourselves wondering how many people we’re reaching and how it happens.

    Site metrics is one way. Another is social network analysis.

    Among the interesting tools out there is the Infochimps API, which is currently in beta. On their blog, you’ll see this:

    Infochimps API in action

    It shows one Twitter user’s network and the connections between them. While the example was produced by someone running a business, it could easily be applied to a journalist interested in understanding their own networks (sources, readers, colleagues, etc.).

    From the Infochimps blog post:

    Coupling Influencer Metrics with Trstrank would enable a promoter to identify not only the users most likely to engage, but also the most influential of those users. Throw Wordbag into the mix and a promoter could also discover if users in the active, influential target population have a potential interest in their product.

    What other examples can you come up with?

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