Up to 100.000 Euros for projects connecting science and data-driven journalism

If you have ideas or plans to connect science with data-driven journalism, the Volkswagen Foundation might be your next funder.

The Data Visualization Catalogue

What are the basic forms of visualizations and when can they be used? Severino Ribecca provides an overview.

The Structure of Data Videos

A pointer to a scientific paper aiming to structure key elements, structures and forms.

The Slicer: Cutting Pivot Table Data to Size

Abbott Katz confronts Excel’s pivot tables once more, with two tricks that promise to resolve some of the tool’s shortcoming.

Hate Spreadsheets Formulas? Meet Drag and Drop Data Analysis Tool ‘QueryTree’

Daniel Thompson, the developer behind the data analysis tool QueryTree explains how the tool can help make data analysis simpler.

The ProPublica Nerd Blog Presents: Design Principles for News Apps & Graphics

ProPublica’s Lena Groeger explains eight principles that guide the investigative journalism outlet’s news apps and graphics design.

Groupthink: Grouping Values in Excel Pivot Tables

Abbott Katz returns with tips for how to group latitudes and longitudes into workable intervals with Excel pivot tables.

A Super-Simple Tool to Search Instagram by Time and Location

Al Shaw presents a new ProPublica app that allows users to search for photos on Instagram by location and time.

Getting to Know your Dataset with the OpenRefine Facets

Learn to use OpenRefine’s faceting options as a way to explore and get to know your data better.

Using the OpenCorporates API to Map Company Information

Tony Hirst looks back at nine months of OpenCorporates API experimentation and delivers his impressions of the tool’s use for company data search.

DDJSchool Tutorial: How to Create Maps with QGIS

Data visualisation expert Gregor Aisch explains how to create a simple map, using QGIS and the Tour de France stations of the last 100 years.

DDJSchool Tutorial: How to Analyse Datasets with Tableau Public

Data visualisation expert Gregor Aisch explains how to analyse datasets with Tableau Public at the School of Data Journalism 2013 in Perugia.

DDJSchool Tutorial: How to Create Charts with Datawrapper

Data visualisation expert Gregor Aisch explains how to create simple charts quickly with Datawrapper.

A Survival Guide for Data Visualisation

Data visualization guidelines by expert Gregor Aisch, straight from the School of Data Journalism at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.

Social Network Analysis for Journalists Using the Twitter API

A tutorial by Michael Bauer, straight from the School of Data Journalism at the International Journalism Festival.

Using Excel to Do Precision Journalism

A tutorial, courtesy of Pulitzer winner Steve Doig, straight from the School of Data Journalism at the International Journalism Festival.

Setting the Record(s) Straight: Dealing with Bad Data

How to ensure the integrity of your data? Abbott Katz presents three data integrity issues and the clues to solve them.

Tech Tips: Making Sense of JSON Strings – Follow the Structure

Tony Hirst explains the structure of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) strings, a format that enables data to be easily collected and parsed.

Color Theory and Mapping

How do the colors of a map affect how it is read and perceived? Miranda Mulligan explains the theory and provides some clues and tips.

Grabbing Twitter Search Results into Google Refine and Exporting Conversations into Gephi

Tony Hirst proposes a recipe for visualising Twitter conversations around hashtags using Gephi and Google Refine.

Visualising Twitter Friend Connections Using Gephi: An Example Using the @WiredUK Friends Network

A new tutorial courtesy of Tony Hirst. And, this time: how to visualise your Twitter network using Gephi.

Tips for Searching Online

A list of links and tips for how to use the web as a reporting tool by BBC’s Jonathan Stoneman, from the computer-assisted reporting conference NICAR 2013.

How to Make a Map with Google Fusion Tables

A new post from Simon Rogers, with, this time, a Fusion Tables tutorial, courtesy of Google’s very own Kathryn Hurley.

Geocoding Using the Google Maps Geocoder via OpenRefine

Tony Hirst gives a detailed tutorial in which he explains how to geocode using OpenRefine.

Borders and Boundaries: 16 Google Fusion Border Files for You to Use

Simon Rogers shares his collection of Google Fusion border files. For your convenience.

Adding Value(s) to Your Spreadsheet: Turning Text Data into Numbers?

Excel instructor Abbott Katz provides valuable advice on how to transform text into data.

Data-Driven Documents, Defined

A D3 tutorial for beginners by Scott Murray.

When Should I Use Logarithmic Scales in my Charts and Graphs?

A post by Forbes contributor Naomi Robbins on logarithms, when to use logarithmic charts and how to do it.

Introducing FreeDive: A Simple Solution for Creating Searchable Databases

A simple and quick solution for creating and embedding searchable databases in your articles, from the labs of UC Berkeley’s Knight Digital Media Center.

Consider Your Message When Choosing What Chart to Use

Forbes contributor Naomi Robbins on the different types of charts and their uses for emphasising a particular message.

Datawrapper 1.0 Is Released

Following a successful beta version, Datawrapper version 1.0 is released.

Verification Tools for Journalists

A list tools for verifying people, places and images, from

LearnStreet: Coding Starts Here

LearnStreet, a new California-based start-up, aims to change the code learning process.

Must Zero Be Included on Scales of Graphs? Another Look at Fox News’ Graph and Huff’s Gee-Whiz Graph

A post by Forbes contributor Naomi Robbins on the use of zero baselines in graphs by the media.

Comparing Graphics from The Guardian and The New York Times: A Project by Marije Rooze

A recent project by Dutch MA student Marije Rooze compares interactive graphics from the Guardian and the New York Times, with unexpected results.

Some Useful Statistical Blogs contributor, Naomi Robbins, shares some respected stats blogs and recent discoveries.

The Journalist’s ‘Learn to Code’ Resource Guide

This is a list of resources you can use to begin to write your own programs, written with journalists in mind.

Torque: An Open Source Mapping Tool for Big Data by CartoDB

A new visualisation tool for Big Data brought to you by the people at CartoDB.

Statwing: Powerful Data Analysis, Simple to Use

Given the rising interest in data analytics, there will be new tools. Here is one fresh and promising approach.

The KoBo Platform: Handheld Data Collection for Real Practitioners

Introducing KoBo, an integrated suite of applications for handheld data collection that are specifically designed for a non-technical audience.

Tips for Working with Numbers in the News

The best tip for handling data is to enjoy yourself. Data can appear forbidding. But allow it to intimidate you and you’ll get nowhere. Treat it as something to play with and explore and it will often yield secrets and stories with surprising ease.

Geofeedia: Next Generation Crisis Mapping Technology?

Situational awareness is absolutely key to emergency response, hence the rise of crisis mapping. In this post we introduce Geofeedia and discuss its potential applications for humanitarian response.

Using Data Visualization to Find Insights in Data

In order to be able to see and make any sense of data, we need to visualize it. Data visualisation expert Gregor Aisch explains the steps you need to take in order to make finding insights in data more effective.

Video: School of Data Journalism - Precision Journalism Workshop

This video will guide you through the very basics of how to use Excel for data journalism projects.

Video: School of Data Journalism - Spending Stories workshop

An Open Knowledge Foundation project helps journalists to find stories in spending data.

How to Create the Perfect Line Chart

Award-winning data visualisation expert Gregor Aisch outlines the best practices for creating line charts.

Getting Data: A Five Minute Field Guide

Looking for data on a particular topic or issue? Not sure what exists or where to find it? Don’t know where to start? This post shows how to get started with finding public data sources on the web.

Meet data mapping platform CartoDB

Introducing CartoDB - an open source, cloud-based data mapping platform which makes mapping accessible, even for complete beginners.

Delivering data: How to build a news app

A look at what news apps are and what they do, when it is useful to build them and how to build them.

Video: The joy of stats with Hans Rosling

Join Prof. Rosling on an exciting trip through the history and development of one of the pillars of data journalism: good old statistics.

Video: School of Data Journalism - Making Data Pretty workshop

An effective visualisation is the key element to engage your audience around data projects. This video from the School of Data Journalism explains the secrets of the trade.

Video: School of Data Journalism - Getting Stories from Data workshop

Caelainn Barr and Steve Doig explain how to turn public data sets into a goldmine of information.

Video: School of Data Journalism - Information Wants to Be Free workshop

The second workshop of the Data Journalism School in Perugia looked at how journalists can use open data and Freedom of Information legislation to get access to the information they need.

Introduction to open-source GIS tools for journalists

Location is quickly becoming a core value of journalism and geographic literacy is on the rise. A look at geocoding tools.

Creating dot density maps with Chicago Tribune’s new open source toolkit

Chicago Tribune hacker Christopher Groskopf explains the tools and techniques behind the creation of dot density maps with U.S. census data.

The limitations of red-green colour scales in infographics

Information visualization expert Gregor Aisch explains the end of his love story with diverging red-green colour scales.

Beginner’s guide for journalists who want to understand API documentation

There are three letters that have been floating around the media world for several years now: API. There aren’t many resources that explain API documentation to non-coders. Here’s an overview of how to figure it out.

Reading data from Flash sites

Adobe Flash can make data difficult to extract. This tutorial will teach you how to find and examine raw data files that are sent to your web browser, without worrying how the data is visually displayed.

Essential visualisation resources: Tools for analysis, collection and enterprise

This is the first part of a multi-part series designed to share with readers an inspiring collection of the most important, effective, useful and practical data visualisation resources. The series will cover visualisation tools, resources for sourcing…

Essential visualisation resources: Tools for mapping

This is the fourth part of a multi-part series designed to share with readers an inspiring collection of the most important, effective, useful and practical data visualisation resources. The series will cover visualisation tools, resources for sourcing…

Power tools for aspiring data journalists: Funnel Plots in R

In the following post Tony Hirst describes a quick way of analysing a mortality dataset using R, a very powerful statistical programming environment that should probably be part of your toolkit if you ever want to get round to doing some serious stats…

The top 10 data-mining links of 2011

Overview is a project to create an open-source document-mining system for investigative journalists and other curious people. We’ve written before about the goals of the project, and we’re developing some new technology, but mostly we’re…

A computational journalism reading list

There is something extraordinarily rich in the intersection of computer science and journalism. It feels like there’s a nascent field in the making, tied to the rise of the internet. The last few years have seen calls for a new class of “programmer…

The Bastards Book of Ruby

The Bastards Book of Ruby is an introduction to programming for non-programmers. The online book focuses on the use of programming for the gathering, organizing, and analyzing of data in all its forms.

Programmer-journalist job openings

A spreadsheet listing over 50 programmer-journalist jobs has been circulating online for some time now. All the jobs require technical skills and range from newsroom developer to interactive designer, multimedia producer and social media editor.

Getting text out of an image-only PDF

In the previous guide, we describe several methods for turning PDFs into data usable for spreadsheets. However, those only handle PDFs that have actual text embedded within them. When a PDF contains just images of text, as they do in scanned documents,…

Turning PDFs to text

Adobe’s Portable Document Format is a great format for digital documents when it’s important to maintain the layout of the original format. However, it’s a document format and not a data format.

Using Google Refine to clean messy data

Google Refine (the program formerly known as Freebase Gridworks) is described by its creators as a “power tool for working with messy data” but could very well be advertised as “remedy for eye fatigue, migraines, depression, and other symptoms of…

Manual on Excel for data journalists

The Centre for Investigative Journalism came out with a handbook this year for journalists who want to master the art of interrogating and questioning numbers competently.

Tableau Public

Tableau Public is a data visualisation tool that enables users to condense complex datasets into simple and easy to read graphs, which allow for better understanding of the datasets.

Where are the bodies buried on the web? Big data for journalists

The following post is the introduction to the free online ebook ‘Where are the bodies buried on the web? Big data for journalists’ published by former Apple engineer Pete Warden in January this year.

10 tools that can help data journalists do better work, be more efficient

It’s hard to be equally good at all of the tasks that fall under data journalism. To make matters worse (or better, really), data journalists are discovering and applying new methods and tools all the time. As a beginning data journalist, you’ll want…

How to scrape Toronto data: a basic tutorial

This post is a step-by-step tutorial on scraping for beginners with video clips.

Visualizing Toronto’s water usage: a tutorial

This post is a tutorial on data visualisation for those who are just starting out. You will learn how to take a big data file, clean it, filter it and turn it into a visualisation.

List of tutorials for journalists on how to use spreadsheets

This post is a list of the best free tutorials on the web for journalists who want to learn spreadsheet skills.

Video archive EJC @PICNIC11: From database cities to urban stories (II)

In this post you can find the videos of the talks from the second European Journalism Centre session: ‘From database cities to urban stories: What are the success stories?’, at the 2011 edition of the leading media festival PICNIC in Amsterdam.

How to Find Stories in EU Spending Data

Caelainn Barr, EU data journalist, talks about how to find stories in EU spending data at the EJC/OKF data driven journalism workshop in Utrecht in September.

Video archive EJC @PICNIC11: From database cities to urban stories (I)

In this post you can find the videos of the talks from the first European Journalism Centre session: ‘Using technology to run our cities: promises and perils’, at the 2011 edition of the leading media festival PICNIC.


There’s a buzz going around about the new data-sharing hub. BuzzData, the new social network for open source data.

Google Public Data Explorer

Released in August 2010, Google’s Public Data Explorer makes public data and statistics easier to understand and share.

The Guardian Data Store

The Guardian Data Store is an online directory providing a selection of datasets on topics of public interest and tools to explore them, along with demonstrations of original or guest visualisations of the datasets.