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Data Roundup, 19 February

- February 19, 2014 in Cities, cost of living, data cleanser, Data Roundup, impact stories competition, infographic, lego, practice, visualization

Joriel “Joz” Jimenez – Lego Castle Advent Calendar

Tools, Events, Courses Every data addict knows that each file containing numbers in rows and columns must be filtered and cleaned first. The Data Cleanser help you doing it by rapidly removing duplicates. Try it here. The Partnership for Open Data officially launched the Impact Stories Competition. Submit a story on how open data has positively changed the community you live in and get the chance to win 1000 dollars. Data Stories The Guardian Data Blog ranked the biggest cities in the world according to their cost of living and to the average price paid for a 1kg loaf of bread. Read more about how the economy is changing in countries’ capitals here. Matthew C. Klein works for the Bloomberg View and recently succeeded in transforming complex financial and economic data into a story told through a series of attractive visualizations. How We Spend is the title of the project, and it absolutely deserves to be seen. As I am a fan of curious infographics, here is one on the saying Practice Makes Perfect from Daily Infographic. Shane O’Neill from InformationWeek interviewed Phil Simon, technology expert and author of the book ‘The Visual Organization’ where he discusses the importance of turning data into visualizations. Take a look at it here. If you are passionate about history and you live in Washington D.C., here is an interesting article from the Washington Post on D.C. historic houses you might want to see. Young or aspiring data journalists may take inspiration from this (very short) interview with Duarte Romero Varela, a graduate student from Birmingham University who talks about his first impressions of working for Infogr8. Have you ever seen conditional probability visualized? No? Well, now you can admire this beautiful visual explanation of it made by Victor Powell for Setosa. The Economist published an interesting short article showing when and how Lego became one of the leading toy brands in the world. Read about its expansion in ‘Empire Building’. Data Sources Dyanna Gregory and Trina Chiasson from Infoactive are leading a wonderful project called Data Made Simple aimed at realizing a free e-book on the fundamentals of data visualization. Help them here by filling a short survey. Pie charts are probably the most hated way to represent data. If you tired of them and you are looking for good alternatives Helpmeviz explain here how to avoid and replace them with better graphs. Credits Thanks to @EdRamthun and @stelldirvornet! flattr this!

Data Roundup, 30 August

- August 30, 2013 in Data Roundup, infographic, surveillance

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.
Mapping balloons, photo jokin lacalle, flickr

Mapping balloons – check out the free course next week in London

Tools, Events, Courses On events coming up this month, another shout out for OKcon, the big OFKN event in Geneva running from the 13th September. Tickets, programme and contact details here. Other events in September include a free five week course on data mining and machine learning from some of the celebrities of the data mining world, the creators of Weka, a popular suite of machine learning software. Waikato University in New Zealand are offering a an online course starting September 9, 2013, with enrolments now open. The course teaches data mining and machine learning. Some one-off courses are open in London’s UCL in September, good for those interested in mapping. UCL is hosting two free DIY aerial photography workshops. Using kites or balloons, participants can learn to make a composite aerial photograph with MapKnitter and potential uses for the data. On 7th Sept 14:00- 18:30. See the UCL excites programme or email cindy[dot]regalado[dot]11@ucl[dot]ac[dot]uk Open Refine is a powerful and free tool for helping anyone clean up their data, view it, structure it, link it. Ruben Verborgh’s blog describes the new release of the software coming up in September and a guide book that helps make the tool easier to use for newbies. Want to make your infographic a bit more exciting? Make it move. A video tutorial on how to animate infographics in After Effects is here by Klaas Diersmann. Choosing a colour to use in your visualization shouldn’t just be an afterthought. Here’s an excellent blogpost on the possibilities and pitfalls of colour and where to start when you have to chose some. And finally, want to make a simple static site quickly out of a Google spreadsheet or document? Try out Tarbell, a super-simple CMS built out of Google Drive, built by the Chicago Tribune News Applications Team. Data stories Could open data destroy us all? Alarmist but DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, are looking into it, as Bloomberg report. It’s ironic because the US government has a lot of data already as the recent NSA stories have shown. This nice infographic from the Washington Post visualizes the US government’s black budget – what the US spends on surveillance and security. The New York Times is tracking you too… but to provide insight into reader behavior. Interesting to anyone working in journalism or user interfaces – this description of how the NYT tracks its readers gives some insights into how people behave, read and share online. Still on New York, you can see just how popular the candidates are in Track NYC’s Mayoral race… And the site TechPresident describes how a very simple open data tool telling people where their nearest polling stations were helped thousands more people to vote in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Sean Ndlovu who worked on GotToVote! told the International Journalists’ Network (IJNet) that it has always been a long process to find a polling place in places like Kenya and Zimbabwe, and simply letting people know what the closest places are makes a difference. Report here. And finally, an interview with a renowned Brazilian infographic designer Luis Iria. Data sources Some new datasets on datacatalogs.org include a curated set of open data for Zimbabwe.
And an open dataset from the Belgian city of Gent, aimed at fuelling smart city projects. flattr this!