DIY data gathering: Tools to help you get and use the data you want

Open government data, FOIA request results, and even just walking around the neighborhood all give us data to tell a new story or create a cool visualization. But rarely does the data come in an easy-to-use format.

Join Hacks/Hackers and the Online News Association on Oct. 8 to learn three ways to make that intractable data useful.

Noah Veltman is a 2013 Knight-Mozilla Fellow at the BBC. He's done a lot of neat data projects including a map of the history of street names in San Francisco, which involved *gasp* calling actual human beings to gather all his data. Noah is currently working on opening up the street history project for other cities, like Philly.

Manuel Aristarán is a 2013 Knight-Mozilla Fellow at La Nacion on Buenos Aires, Argentina. He's working on a tool called Tabula that extracts tabular data from PDFs. Tabula helps solve the frustrating problem of accessing data trapped in PDFs.

A team of mapping enthusiasts ran a couple of balloon mapping workshops this spring and summer to get a birds-eye view of places in the region. They then used an open source tool from the Public Lab to compile photographs of the area.

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  • Johan M.

    It was cool. The tabular application was very practical.

    1 · October 8, 2013

  • Ming L.

    This looks really interesting - it's a shame I cannot go. Will the resources or slideshow be hosted somewhere?

    1 · October 7, 2013

    • Dana B.

      Hi Ming, I'm sorry you can't make it. We'll post links to the slideshows here. You can also follow us on twitter for updates:­

      October 7, 2013

  • Keala T.

    I'm so bummed that I can't make this! Could you please update the link for the Public Lab open source tool? It doesn't seem to work. Thanks

    September 18, 2013

    • Erika O.

      ooh, thanks for the catch. Updated. We'll definitely blog about this so you can catch up after!

      September 18, 2013

    • Keala T.

      Thanks Erika!

      September 18, 2013

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