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New hands-on classes for learning free software


With tight newsroom budgets, open-source software comes at the right price: free. This year’s Computer-Assisted Reporting conference March 11-14 in Phoenix offers several new hands-on classes:

  • CrimeStat. Analyze crime incident locations with a free spatial statistics program.
  • Flex free visualization software. Build Web applications with open-source software that works like Flash.
  • Free mapping software. Can’t afford expensive GIS mapping software? Explore QGIS and other open-source mapping options.
  • Free tools to put maps online. Explore open-source software to make interactive online maps.
  • Fundamentals of programming. Learn how to write scripts to deal with recurring data problems and Web issues.
  • R to the rescue: free stats software. The open-source software R is becoming the standard in statistics and data-intensive sciences. Bring your projects, your problems, your SPSS/SAS scripts, and we’ll see what we can figure out.
  • Simile / Timeline free visualization tool. Make interactive online timelines with this open-source software.
  • SQLite free database software. Use open-source software to run a relational database.

Full conference details and registration information are online at http://data.nicar.org/CAR2010. Register now and reserve a hotel room before the Feb. 8 deadline for the IRE room block at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix.

In addition to the new open-source classes, the CAR conference also will feature hands-on training with Census data, as well as core offerings in Excel spreadsheets, Access databases, ArcView map, Google maps and SPSS statistical analysis software.

Regardless of your CAR experience, you’ll find hands-on classes to learn new skills that you can put to work immediately in your newsroom.

Check out the full list online at http://data.nicar.org/conference/schedule/7/999/1.

In addition to hands-on software training, the CAR conference also will feature dozens of panels with journalists and educators sharing tips, success stories and advice on the full range of investigative topics.

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