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2019-11-07 | J++ Newsletter #81

Inspiration and introductions

Looking for inspiration for geojournalism? The #30DayMapChallenge Twitter challenge (initated by Topi Tjukanov) has a lot of nice storytelling with maps going on, and many of them don't even require any special GIS skills!

The Data Is Beautiful Youtube series with animated bar charts is dead simple, yet mesmerizing. Their latest one, on music charts, had our attention for the full 10 minutes:

This Bellingcat walk-though of a recently leaked white supremacist message board database is a nice tutorial in how to handle this kind of data, and the small size of the database and pre-pepared CSV files makes them easy to browse for interesting email addresses or IP ranges, even if you haven't worked on this kind of data before.

Tools for nerds

The brilliant people of Openpolis have started collecting EU infringement procedure data in to easily consumed spreadsheets. This is a much more exciting dataset than it sounds!

Python 3.8 was just released. As we use Python a lot for web scraping, we are especially excited about the new := operator, which will make looping over paginated sites with a while loop so much more straight-forward:

scraper = MyScraper(url)
while content := scraper.get_next_page():
    # do something with content

How high is that ski-slope? The latest QGIS release (3.10) allows you to measure distances, taking height into consideration (if you have 3d data, that is). There are also other 3d related improvements, such as a “Climb Along Line” algorithm, as well as improved support for vectorized export formats.


Reveal, an online magazine from the Center for Investigative Reporting is hiring a data reporter, a data editor and a “Chief Development Officer” for their office in Emeryville, California, US.

Investigate Europe is looking for an assistant editor (freelance), somewhere in Europe.

If administration does not scare you, there is EU funding to apply for, for “information measures relating to the EU Cohesion policy” that might be applicable to a journalistic project.

For Swedish journalists: The Publicistklubben grants' application is now open! (Why not convince a colleague to apply for a grant to join our two-day introductory course in data-driven journalism in March?)

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