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Data Roundup, 19 November

- November 19, 2013 in Data Roundup

Lessons and workshops on data journalism in Europe and US, winners and losers of the after-crisis monetary policy, Chinese government censorship on the internet, the Bourbon distilleries tree, what does life expectancy mean in statistics, how to eliminate headings with more than one row in Excel.

Herve “Setaou” Bry – Tian An Men Patrol

Tools, Events, Courses

On Wednesday the 20th,from 4pm to 6pm, while drinking tea, you might also listen to an interesting lesson on data journalism with two experts of the field: Brian Abelson, data scientist at the New York Times, and Amanda Zamora, senior engagement editor at ProPublica. The event will be held at the prestigious Columbia Univeristy Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

Everyone knows Alberto Cairo’s famous massive online courses, but for those of you who are in the Netherlands, you now have the opportunity to attend one of his lecture and to do it live! On Friday 22, don’t miss the appointment with “Visualizing Information: The Insightful Art”, the one-day workshop on how to draw effective data visualizations.

Data Stories

Since the 2007 economic crisis, there hasn’t been a day without someone arguing about interest rates, net incomes, GDP and taxes. A few days ago, Emily Cadman published an article on the Financial Times Data Blog which gives you accurate details on who wins and who loses from the monetary policies undertaken by governments in the last years. If you are curious, read “Estimating the cost of QE”.

Bourbon has a long long tradition in Kentucky, but who produces it? Which are the biggest distilleries? And, above all, who owns those distilleries? Check it out in the Bourbon Family Tree: a nice GQ infographic by Colin Spoleman.

If you haven’t already done it, let me invite you to read another milestone of interactive journalism from ProPublica: “China’s Memory Hole”. With the help of several Mandarin interpreters, ProPublica’s team monitored Sina Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter) for 6 months. From a huge dataset of about 80,000 messages and photos, they stored and selected all the posts which were removed from the site by the national censorship!

Data Sources

Statistics is the core of every data analysis. Before visualizing them, it’s fundamental to learn how certain indexes and metrics are calculated. For those of you passionate about demography, you’d better read what Emi Suzuki and Neil Fantom say in “What does ‘life expectancy at birth’ really mean?” on the World Bank Data Blog. You might discover (or maybe just remind) that living in a country with a life expectancy of 80 years doesn’t necessarily mean that each of its citizens will get octogenarian before dying!

Paul Bradshaw has been on the frontline of data journalism since newsrooms started extracting stories from numbers. If you are desperately trying to clean an Excel spreadsheet with a multiple rows heading, keep calm and read his easy step-by-step guide on “How to: clean up spreadsheet headings that run across multiple rows using Open Refine”.

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Data Roundup, 11 November

- November 11, 2013 in Data Roundup

A chart of Excel charts, the misuse of statistics by politicians, the Data Journalism School edition IV in Italy, a new perspective on depression, a Spanish job board for data addicted around the world, Google data tools in case of natural disasters.

Patrick Hoesly – Pie Chart Art. Seamless Pattern

Tools, Events, Courses

If you need a quick guide on which should be the most appropriate chart to use in your everyday data analysis, then check the recently published Jorge Camoes’ Classification of chart types which presents all kind of graphs that can only be made in Excel.

Manipulating data for its own sake is, unfortunately, a common practice of our politicians. If you are curious about how do they do it you’d better not miss the Friday lunchtime lecture of the executive director of the Royal Statistical Society Hetan Shah on “How politicians lie with data”. The event is free and takes place at the Open Data Institute in London.

In Italy, the Foundation and ISTAT just announced the fourth edition of the Data Journalism School. It’s a three-day introduction to the concepts, methods and best practices of journalism done with statistics. It will be from 17 to 19 December but there are only 18 places available and if you want to be among the participants you’d better register now.

After New York, on Monday 11 the Strata Conference moves to London for its European chapter. “Open Data” is one of the eight topics of the event. Find out the program and the keynote speakers!

Data Stories

Mark Rice-Oxley published on the Guardian Data Blog an interesting point of view on depression. Maps and charts show depressive disorders sorted by country, sex and age group. If you are curious about the charateristics and distribution of the disease, have a look at “Where in the world are people most depressed?”.

In San Diego, California, they are testing the Tactical Identification System: a new way to identify individuals through a facial recognition mechanism based on photo-databases. See how it works in this nice infographic of the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Data Sources

The data revolution we are witnessing is increasingly expanding the number of jobs in this field. If you just graduated from university or you simply want to change your career path, we suggest you to monitor the Big Data Spain Job Board, available in English and Spanish. There are more than 2000 vacancies you may apply for!

Read about the power of geo-data and maps in situations of crisis and natural disaster in Adam Mann’s article “Mapping Disasters Like Typhoon Haiyan for First Responders” on Wired MapLab. Mann introduces some important tools developed to help people whose homes have been hit by hurricanes, earthquakes or floods.

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Data Roundup, 25 October

- October 25, 2013 in Data Roundup

The English Silicon Valley map, Little Data economics for the news industry, the New York Data Week and Strata Conference, an infographic on movies’ supercars, workshops and new databases.

Mike Leeorg – New York City Skyline Sunset

Tools, Events, Courses

Interested in joining and developing a data journalism project? Medialab Prado is looking for collaborators for its “Workshop on Data Journalism: Transforming Data into Stories”. Participants will work in groups to produce selected projects ranging from “Globalization and health trends” to “Climate Finance Maps”. Workshops take place on two editions: 25-27 October and 13-15 December. Hurry up! The deadline for registration is October 24.

If you are curious about the dimension of your Facebook network you may want to have a look at the first DataJLab video tutorial on Gephi. Gephi is platform that helps you visualizing complex series of relations and, above all, is available for free to anyone!

Next week every New Yorker should not miss the appointment with two of the biggest events on the world of data. On Monday 27th starts the NYC Data Week and, right the day after, the Strata Conference opens the doors to the public. It’s going to be an intensive agenda of workshops, speeches and meetups for anyone interested in analyzing and visualizing numbers and statistics: journalists, information architects, designers, entrepreneurs, start-uppers and many more.

Data Stories

The legendary Guardian Data Blog recently published an interesting analysis of the diversity of languages spoken in England. In “What does the 2011 Census tell us about diversity of languages in England and Wales?” the University College London geographer Guy Lansley, author of the article, displays the distribution of idioms in the Country through a series of dot maps based on data released by Office for National Statistics.

If you are wondering what kind of role data analysis and data intelligence play in big news industries nowadays then you should absolutely read Ken Doctor’s point of view on the Nieman Journalism Lab where he describes and presents “The newsonomics of Little Data”.

Want to know which is the English Silicon Valley? Read and explore John Burn-Murdoch’s map of Britain’s technology sector hotspots on Financial Times.

For those with a true passion for cars and movies Cool Infographics posted “Car of the Silver Screen”, a long nice-looking graph showing all the most famous characters’ supercars: from the legendary Sean Connery’s Aston Martin DB5 in “007 Goldfinger” to the most recent Audi R8 e-tron driven by Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 3”.

Data Sources

Data journalists from La Nacion just released the beta version of Declaraciones Juradas Abiertas, a huge database listing assets, holdings and properties of Argentinian public servants aimed at increasing public administration transparency towards citizenship.

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Data Roundup, 30 August

- August 30, 2013 in Data Roundup

How to animate your infographic, why colour shouldn’t be an after-thought and will open data destroy us all? – the US government department asking that question. Read the rest of this entry →

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