NICAR bridge data helps The Seattle Times do analysis on deadline after bridge collapse

Thursday night around 8 p.m., a bridge collapsed over the Skagit River on Interstate 5 in Washington state. The Seattle Times’ Cheryl Phillips headed into work. On her way, she phoned IRE and double-checked. Yes, the database of bridge inspections was available for download. Within 30 minutes, the database was in the house and The…

Read more »

Boating accident data updated in NICAR database library

Now that it’s just warm enough to get in a boat, the NICAR database library has updated the Coast Guard’s U.S. Recreational Boat Accident Database. WHAT’S IN IT?The updated data has accident reports from 1995 through 2011. Accidents involving vessel damage of more than $2,000 or disappearance of a person under circumstances that indicate death…

Read more »

Relive the 2013 Lightning Talks

Short and sweet, Lightning Talks have become a highlight of the CAR conference. In Louisville this year they played to an overflow crowd at the biggest NICAR yet. And this year, attendee Fernando Diaz of Hoy Chicago captured them on video. Hear Ben rant. Be Nate Silver. Make games for news. Learn a new language.…

Read more »

Post-CAR Conference sale in NICAR data library

Fresh out of CAR 2013 and itching for data to work with? The NICAR database libarary is offering discounts on popular federal databases to help you get started. The data library updates databases on a variety of topics. You can explore our data by searching for a specific database, or looking for data by topic…

Read more »

Smarter interactive web projects with Google spreadsheets and Tabletop.js

Using tabletop.js, one editor and two researcher, presenter Tasneem Raja of Mother Jones got the remarkable 47% graphic online for Mother Jones in under five hours. If that’s not reason enough for you to try tabletop.js, consider this: Raja says Tabletop has been an absolute “game changer” for the Mother Jones newsroom.  Think of tabletop.js…

Read more »

Get acquainted with the new look of Fusion Tables

Google Fusion tables has a new look.You can learn how to use it with Google Fusion Tables tutorials, and get a grip on how to import map data, and style, filter and share your creation with the world. Learn step-by-step how to formulate “lots of points” maps, heat maps and intensity maps. Some other cool…

Read more »

Quick tips on presenting data-driven stories

Cheryl Phillips of The Seattle Times and Anthony DeBarros of Gannett Digital presented on how to fit your data to the appropriate presentation style. Just like when you’re shopping for clothes, you should ask a lot of questions before you buy (or in this case, before you spend resources designing anything). What is the story…

Read more »

Advanced social media sleuthing

Geolocation tools help you search for social media activity buzzing in your beat, on your block and even in your building. The following tools help you search by geolocation information embedded in tweets, Facebook updates, youtube videos and more. “Geolocation is one of the most exciting things for journalists out in the field,” presenter Doug…

Read more »

Getting started with Tableau Public

Photos by Travis Hartman I walked into the Tableau Public session with absolutely no experience — and within about 10 minutes the instructor had us open up some data, sort through a few of the elements, and create a visualization.  Its immediate ease of use is clear. To produce quick, coherent interactive charts seemed pretty…

Read more »

Making the best use of the conference

IRE executive director Mark Horvit and training directors Jaimi Dowdell and Megan Luther offered advice this morning for how to make the best use of the conference. For first-time attendees, here are a few basic things to keep in mind: There are three types of sessions: panels, demos and hands-on rooms. Panels follow a fairly…

Read more »