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Open data

This category contains 13 posts

US election 2016: How to download county-level results data

If open data means anything, it applies to elections. But yet here we are, a week after the results, and open data around the results is hard to find. It matters because having that data allows us to understand the results better, and what they say about America today. It also means that the data can … Continue reading

Tilegrams: Make your own cartogram hexmaps with our new tool

This US election season, you will see a lot of maps. And mostly, they will look kind of like this: And what’s wrong with that? It is, after all, what the United States looks like. But try and find Rhode Island or Connecticut. Tricky, isn’t it? But it’s not just finding the states that’s difficult. … Continue reading

Election DataBot: harnessing the power of the matrix

Image from Giphy There’s no shortage of public data out there around the election — FEC filings, demographic data from the census, even search data from Google… the list is long and complicated. But imagine if, like Neo in The Matrix, you could plug yourself into that election feed and get a complete grasp of all the data … Continue reading

Data Journalism Awards 2016: what the winners tell us about the state of the data nation

What does data journalism look like in 2016? The winners of the data journalism awards — announced today — give us a great sense of where the industry is right now. I was lucky enough to be director of the awards this year, working with the great Paul Steiger to winnow down the record 471 … Continue reading

Data journalism matters more now than ever before

Here’s an interesting thing: data journalism is the mainstream. Or indeed: Data journalism is just journalism. It’s been threatening to do this ever since I wrote this piece.  Now it’s everywhere. If 2014 was the year that saw new outlets develop their own brands of data journalism (think 538, The Upshot, Vox…), and 2015 was the … Continue reading

Three refugee datasets for the 19 Million Project

For the next two weeks the 19 Million Project will meet in Rome to wrestle with how data, design and journalism can best tell the heartbreaking stories produced by the refugee crisis which has sprung out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The project brings a pretty brilliant cross-functional team together to see what they can make of the … Continue reading

Journalist datastores: where can you find them? A list.

Where do journalists post their data? It’s a pretty core tenet of open journalism that you share your sources; i.e. , you write a story about data then you make numbers available to download. It matters because: Your audience is more likely to trust your story if they can test the sources Someone out there probably … Continue reading

Ebola in charts: data journalism and the outbreak

It’s a crisis unparalleled in modern times: the biggest outbreak of Ebola ever recorded. So, what do we know about it? Data journalism is about taking the key data, breaking it down and making it accessible. So a major story like this is where getting the data can help us understand it better. So what data … Continue reading

If devolution killed national data, what would Scottish independence do?

The quality of government data is quite possible the last thing on most voters’ minds when Scotland decides whether to leave the UK this Thursday. But, believe it or not, it matters. I wrote this piece back at the Guardian on devolution and open government data. An independent Scotland would probably be the ned of … Continue reading

Data journalism only matters when it’s transparent

  When it comes to data journalism, everyone’s a critic. The launch of three major data journalism operations in only a few weeks—the revamped538, Vox, and the New York Times‘ The Upshot—have produced a slew of opinion pieces. They are summarized quite nicely in this piece by Guardian journalist James Ball, but the one critique that sticks with me the most is … Continue reading

About me

Data journalist, writer, speaker. Author of 'Facts are Sacred', published by Faber & Faber and a new range of infographics for children books from Candlewick. Data editor at Google, California. Formerly at Twitter, San Francisco. Created the Guardian Datablog. All opinions on this site are mine, not my employers'. Read more >>

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