Is a flat text file or a database right for an app?

I’ve been busily coding away on my final project for my data visualization independent study. I’m looking at data that I’ve been slowly acquiring on the life of art galleries that were in Chicago in 1990.  Back then, the Chicago Artists’ Coalition had a complete listing in a pamphlet (more like a book) they put […]

Data Delver: Chase Davis, California Watch

Posted by on Feb 20, 2010 in Blog, CAR, data delvers | 2 Comments

My next Data Delver: By day, he’s an investigative reporter. By night, he’s Superman!  (Okay, he actually builds database applications with co-conspirator Matt Waite.  But that’s almost the same, right?) The CAR world, as I see it, has two different paths you can go down: continue to use data for reporting stories, or apply those […]

Data Delver: MaryJo Webster, Pioneer Press

Posted by on Feb 20, 2010 in Blog, CAR, data delvers | 3 Comments

One of the virtues of continuing to be a graduate student while pursuing my CAR journey has been the freedom to look at problems academically.  One issue I’ve been wrestling with is where we need to use more data.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it needs to be used more often in reporting.  That […]

Many Eyes: “Catalyzing the community around data”

Posted by on Feb 18, 2010 in Blog, data visualizations | No Comments

Before I get going, thanks to all of you who’ve been reading and/or sending me feedback!  And a hearty welcome to any new readers who’ve found their way over via Innovative Interactivity, #wjchat or any other method.  I’m so glad you’re joining me on my data journalism quest (read: obsession!).  If you have any topics […]

Data Delver: Lisa Pickoff-White, California Watch

While talking to data reporters from around the country, it’s become apparent to me that the best work is done when the staff is supportive.  Some newspapers are doing great work, and some are struggling.  Which led me to wonder how the investigative organizations are doing, new and encouraging experimentation to draw eyes and inform […]

Visualizing networking: When it doesn’t work

So much in journalism and in life, we strive for perfection in our work. The best story idea, the best presentation.  We strive for perfection as individuals, we compete to be the best, get to the scene before someone else, write tighter, edit faster.  But sometimes, it’s just as important to recognize when something just […]

Visual confections are more than mere presentation

Data visualization.  It’s one of those terms that can mean so many things.  I say I’m doing an independent study on data visualization this quarter.  That’s true.  But a better description would be “data visualizations for journalism.”  I’ve talked about this with people before, a lot of pieces are gorgeous, and they do convey information, […]

Data Delver: Mo Tamman, Wall Street Journal

Posted by on Feb 13, 2010 in Blog, CAR, data delvers | 2 Comments

I think in the modern era, CAR merits consideration across all beats. Perhaps that’s part of why I didn’t discover it for so long, it never occurred to me to search for a specialty that looked at data, because I just assumed that was the way to do journalism. But if I were pressed to […]

Data Delver: David Donald, Center for Public Integrity

Posted by on Feb 13, 2010 in Blog, CAR, data delvers | One Comment

What is it we love about computer-assisted reporting? Why is the NICAR-L list full of people eager and willing to diagnose problem queries and discuss the merits of mapping software? What draws people to it?  The first time I saw a Python script perform batch geocoding, as numbers spun out of a Terminal console quicker than […]

Data Delver: William Hartnett, Palm Beach Post

There’s a fine line between loving your work, and falling into a deep obsession.  I don’t pretend to understand the distinction, what some call an obsession, I call it loving learning and seeing a project through.  I think it’s very easy to become sucked in to something, when it’s something that matters. I know I […]