Quickly report on dangerous winter driving conditions using our new database

More than 3,100 people across the country died in fatal car crashes in the three-day window around Christmas in the 11-year period from 2003 to 2013. More than 500 of those involved snow, rain, sleet or hail, according to accident records. It’s easy to localize a story about dangerous winter driving conditions in your community.…

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Use our new simplified fatal accidents database to write holiday stories with impact

We know how busy the end of the year can be, so we’ve put together a simplified database on fatal car accidents to help you produce year-end stories with impact. Our full DOT Fatality Analysis Reporting System database (FARS) has 19 tables and almost 800 columns of detailed information about fatal car accidents. To save…

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Add context to stories on car crashes, seatbelt safety and drunken driving using FARS data

How many people die in car accidents? Sometimes you’ll see the answer to that question flashing on a billboard on the highway. It’s also in the DOT’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database, a census of fatality accidents on public roads in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. You can use the data…

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Investigate lending practices in your community

​​The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) database has just been updated in the NICAR Data Library.​ Loan application records for 2014 are now available. ​ HMDA requires all banks, savings and loans, savings banks and credit unions with assets of more than $33 million and offices in metropolitan areas to report mortgage applications.  WHAT CAN I DO…

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Cover critical infrastructure in your area using data on the nation’s dams

The NICAR Data Library has updated the National Inventory of Dams (NID), a database kept by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on dams in all 50 states with details that include structure type, purpose, owner, most recent inspection date and inspection frequency. The data also include latitude and longitude. You can use these records to zero in…

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NICAR will release data on U.S. dams after a decade-long hiatus

Next week the NICAR database library will release the National Inventory of Dams (NID), a database that has been inaccessible for over a decade. For years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied its release (citing “national security” reasons) until recently when it was posted online in a publicly available searchable (but not downloadable) table. IRE…

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Getting on a boat this summer?

It’s officially summer and people are spending a lot of time in the water. If you’re looking for a good story, one place to look is the boating accidents dataset in the NICAR data library. It’s been recently updated to include 2014 and is free for IRE members. Kept by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Recreational…

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IRE Preview: Turn data into stories with our new hands-on classes

While many of our hands-on classes still focus on using software, we recognize that it can be incredibly helpful for journalists to sit down with an expert guide to usher them through the process of turning data into a story. So we’re offering something a little different this year at the IRE Conference in Philadelphia…

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Updated at NICAR: FBI Uniform Crime Reports and SBA Disaster Loans

We’ve posted two updated datasets at the NICAR data library this week: FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2013 and Small Business Administration Disaster Loans through February 2015. See below for details.   FBI UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS Law enforcement agencies around the country voluntarily submit reports to the FBI on what are known as “index” crimes: Murder, nonnegligent manslaughter,…

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