Viz 4 Journalism & Clean Water Advocacy: Gabriel Gianordoli & NiJel

  • August 27, 2013 · 6:30 PM
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This month's event will focus on visualization projects in journalism and also for clean water advocacy. In each case we will see and discuss specific projects and how each presenter's unique vision developed into tangible visualization-based results.  Please join us for this great opportunity to see and hear how visualization and information design can be used to meaningfully communicate complex narratives and elucidate public policy issues.    

About the Presentations

Gabriel Gianordoli will present, explore and discuss some of his data journalism projects, specifically focussing on the visualizations that were developed for main features.  He will also discuss how coding interactive visualizations can be helpful leverage against the typical constraints of print, such as short development time and limited space.

Lela Prashad and JD Godchaux, through their organization NiJel, worked with their partners mWater to create a series of data visualizations for Riverkeeper, an organization dedicated to restoring and protecting the Hudson River and the New York City Watershed from environmental lawbreakers. Riverkeeper has been collecting water quality monitoring data along the Hudson from New York Harbor to Waterford, NY since 2007, but had no effective means of communicating their findings to the public on their website. NiJeL developed overview maps, tables and customized charts showing each sampling location and the amount of pollution tracked over time. These visualizations should give policymakers and the public a better understanding of current and historical conditions at each site, and some impetus to develop a more robust sampling regime to notify recreational users of elevated pollution levels. 

About the Speakers

Gabriel Gianordoli is an internationally-recognized information designer from Brazil, currently enrolled in the MFA Design & Technology program, at Parsons The New School for Design.

He has been working with information and graphic design for the past 6 years, mainly in magazines, using code to visualize data. His aim in visualization is to help people get from nonsense information to meaningful knowledge. He has received Four awards from the Society of News Design and one from the Society of Publication Designers.

Lela Prashad is Chief Data Scientist and co-founder of NiJeL. She was concurrently the director of the 100 Cities Project from 2007 - 2011, a NASA-funded program at Arizona State University to collect satellite based remote sensing data from cities around the world and to build collaborations among urban decision-makers and scientists. Ms. Prashad is currently advising the 100 Cities Project and development of software as a contractor for ASU.

Ms. Prashad’s work at NiJeL is focused on developing custom participatory mapping and data analysis/visualization systems, with an emphasis on building and utilizing open source software, for client organizations. Her work at the 100 Cities Project included developing use-inspired research applications of multi-spectral satellite remote sensing for scientists and decision-makers, providing guidance to software engineers in adapting NASA-developed online remote sensing analysis tools for non-technical users, and working with organizations such as the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, The World Bank, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology SENSEable City Lab to understand how practitioners can best utilize the growing number of datasets and models available to them to make better decisions. Ms. Prashad received her Master of Science in Geological Sciences from ASU in 2004 and held an associateship in the NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) in Urban Ecology program. She has over 10 years of GIS mapping, programming, data analysis, and research experience in academic, government, and corporate environments. She is skilled in computer programming, web development, and statistical analysis.

JD Godchaux is the co-founder and Executive Director of NiJeL Incorporated, a position he has held since 2007. He has over 10 years experience in both directing and contributing to data visualization projects. An expert in open source GIS, visualization, and data management tools, Mr. Godchaux has worked with a wide range of organizations to build and execute data visualization strategies. With the team at NiJeL, he has created many custom structured relational databases, built web applications to add, edit, and update databases, and built web visualization tool for organizations to show who they serve, advocate for their causes, and visualize program impacts. Mr. Godchaux has extensive experience scripting in SQL to access data from both MySQL and PostgreSQL database environments, as well as experience developing web applications in PHP and JavaScript.

Mr. Godchaux holds a Bachelor of Science in Geosciences from Trinity University and a Master in Public Administration from Arizona State University. Prior to his work at NiJeL, he was a Senior Policy Analyst at Morrison Institute for Public Policy where he worked as a survey researcher and a program evaluator. Prior to his work at Morrison Institute, he held the position of Environmental Protection Specialist at the United States Environmental Protection Agency where, among other responsibilities, he created interactive maps and other visualizations of the impacts of air toxics on local populations. Mr. Godchaux also worked as a GIS Specialist for the United Stated Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Team, building a desktop GIS visualization of the Peninsula segment of the San Andreas Fault.

About the Event

As usual, we'll start refreshments at 6:30pm with time to network, catch up and meet new people with interests in data visualization. The formal presentations will begin around 7:00pm and there will be time for Q&A afterwards.  So please join us for these excellent presentations, the best DataViz networking in New York, and some light refreshments.

Please note: only those with confirmed RSVP's will be able to attend, because of security requirements at the space that generously hosts & sponsors us. Reservations will close at 5:00pm the day of the event. If you aren't able to get a slot by then, we apologize, but you won't be able to enter the building. For this reason, we've expanded the number of RSVP's we accept, to account for no-shows and to make sure we fill as many of our seats as possible. But, please cancel as early as possible to make room for other attendees. Thanks for understanding, and see you there!

-Paul & Christian


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  • Gabriel G.

    Great night! Nijel's work about the Hudson River is an inspiring example of how visualization can take part in helping people make their lives better.
    For anybody who asked me about the slides, I just uploaded them on Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/gianordoli/speaking-data-vizny

    1 · August 29, 2013

  • Siarhei M.

    BTW: O'Reilly book (I guess the most valuable one) is available on-line for free with interactive examples: http://chimera.labs.oreilly.com/books/1230000000345/index.html

    August 28, 2013

  • Michaylah M.

    Great presentations!
    If anyone wants a soft copy of 'disruptive possibilities' or 'analyzing the analyzers,' just email me at [masked]

    August 28, 2013

  • Lela P.

    Thanks for the opportunity to present! Great questions! Nice to see the journalistic data artistry of Gabriel too :)

    3 · August 27, 2013

  • Rahel J.

    was excellent in every way!

    August 27, 2013

  • Michael W.

    N/Q no service in Queens due to a stalled train means I can't make it. Hopefully it's not too late for someone to grab my spot! Sorry. And bummed.

    August 27, 2013

  • Yangbo D.

    Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to attend due to a client meeting. However, given how I am adapting lean startup principles to sustainable development, I look forward to keeping posted on this panel and related events.

    August 27, 2013

  • Lynn H.

    Will this event be recorded? Might not be able to make it. :(

    August 27, 2013

  • Zachary

    Water biz is fond to me and my past venture work. Also, I'm closer to a new data viz group in my corp

    August 25, 2013

  • Lina X.

    Lina Xiang

    August 14, 2013

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