Data Roundup, September 26

September 26, 2012 in Data Roundup

We’re rounding up data news from the web each week. If you have a data news tip, send it to us at [email protected].


Open Knowledge Festival 2012

Open Knowledge Festival 2012


School of Data News

The School of Data is hiring a Project Coordinator. Join the team!

The School of Data team spent last week at the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki. Our workshop was well attended, and the impressive attendees gave us great feedback on our first course, which is scheduled for launch in mid-October. We’ll be sharing more results from the workshop on the blog this week.


London DataDive, 28-20 September (this weekend!): DataKind is bringing their data goodness across the ocean to the first ever London DataDive. Sign up to help Oxfam, Place2Be and Keyfund do good with their data.

Open Knowledge Meetup, San Francisco, 3 October: Open Knowledge Foundation Co-Founder Rufus Pollock will be hosting the first OKFN meetup in San Francisco. All SF people interested in open data and open content should be there!


LocalData: A toolkit for collecting field data. The write and scan capability to turn written surveys into data is of particular interest for gathering local community data. If you use LocalData for a project, let us know – we’re curious to hear more about how it works on the ground.


Coursera launched three courses on Monday that cater to more advanced data wranglers:

What is Big Data? Research roundup, reading list: A good overview of academic research on the implications of big data.

Data News from the Open Knowledge Festival

Hans Rosling ended his keynote with a passionate call for the public to demand more up-to-date carbon dioxide emissions data from the International Energy Agency. The most recent emissions data available is from 2008. The OKFN blog has a detailed summary of Rosling’s keynote.

Simon Rogers shared how the Guardian used web scraping to liberate closed Olympics data. Simon also said “PDFs are where data goes to die.” For an excellent introduction to liberating data from PDFs, check out From PDFs to usable data, a detailed set of slides on extracting data from PDFs, created by Dan Nguyen.

Farida Vis asked What do Data Visualizations Want? She spoke about her research for the Guardian’s Reading the Riots project, emphasizing the need for words to give data meaning and put it into context. Her plenary talk focused on the Allotment Data Project, an ongoing effort to extract meaning from allotment data in the UK and to use the data to campaign for more allotments. (Allotments are plots of land provided for people to grow their own produce.)


Clinical Trials Map: Paul May used data from to build maps of clinical trials taking place in Brooklyn, Dublin, London, Barcelona, and Beijing. A short writeup of the method he used to create the simple maps.

Visualization Vault: A detailed catalog of 248 infographics from the New York Times and the Guardian, the vault covers 12 years of work and was created by Marije Rooze.

Water Data Storytelling: Details how much water we consume daily. An fresh example of data storytelling created by Angela Morelli.


Le Monde launched a data blog; the first few posts cover the OKFest.

Knight News Data Challenge winners were announced. Winning projects focus on air quality, local data collection, campaign spending analysis, and census data.


Have we missed something? Send suggestions or corrections to [email protected], or find us on Twitter at @SchoolOfData.


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