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Janurary 23rd Meeting Minutes / Possible Project List

From: Timothy D.
Sent on: Friday, February 7, 2014 11:54 AM
Hacks Hackers ROC - January 23rd

Introductions of Those present:

Tim Duffy
    Technologist. Enjoy lots of Geocoding/data visualization. I don't have much training
    in the world of journalism

    Matt Bernius, Chris Horn, Myself, Remy, were the 4 co-founders of HHRoc.

Matt Leonard
    Editor, Innovation Trial. Driving journalism in upstate NY. Partners.
    There hasn't been much news-data work being done, and we want to aggregate
    more of that for newsrooms up here. We're happy to be supporting projects
    of HHROC and RIT. Thanks for travelling.

Andy McGraw
    Work for healthcare company. Studied law, engineering, business. I'm
    interested in proposing an App idea with Collages.

    Student at RIT, Enjoy programming
Brad Stenger
    Recent transplant to ROC from NYC. Went to UofR undergrad.
    lived in Cali after Grad
    Majored in English and Engineering, have done both ever since

    Digital Content Strategist at Roberts Communication around the corner.
    Went to Hamilton, major in math/creative writing. Journalist special
    features journalist for Boston. Did BostonInno, acquired recently.
    I do digital marketing and publication style branding. For a business, we
    need to tell a story. That is my role at Roberts. Went to a bunch of
    HHROC. I was interested to see that this meetup focuses on moving things
    forward in terms of specific projects. It was a few years ago when I did
    go in Boston, they'd present a project, or a problem, but not string those

Kate O'Connell
    Matt's Peon in this station. Doing the reporting around data/air quality
    stuff you guys have done. My Tech literacy is weak, but I'd love to learn
    from you guys, and answer any journo questions.

Jim Heaney
    reporter at Buffalo news for 25 years. Now Editor of Investigative Post.
    Iv'e been interacting with several IRT/Innovation Trail people, and
    hoping to engage in an actual project.

    Educational Researcher, mostly doing data analsyt, working at RIT. Just grad'd
    from SU, background in Math/Statistics/Inst­ructional Design

    Teaches journalism at RIT, and this semester, will teach 2 classes to
    collaborate with hackers. Computer assisted reporting, and community
    journalism. Connecting data to real stories.

Andrea Hickerson
    Journalism Prof at RIT. In the fall, got a Knight Grant to run a digital
    journalism incubator at RIT, co-taught with Victor Perotti from college of
    business. Want to bring teams of people with diff skill sets together, and
    build something from the ground up. platform, publication, service,
    whatever. The interest is "Education" so there is much potential.

Jim Day
    Producer WXXI
    Segment/Documentary work. the stuff the journalists talk about will be
    critical to the stuff we do. I recently transplanted from Boston

Rochester Civic App Challenge
    Remy presented brief overview of the Rochester Civic App Challenge.  More
    information can be found here:

Kyle talked briefly about Bringing back StartupWeekendRoches­ter
    Meeting on Monday

    Mike Garson, CTO Brand Networks
    CTO Brand Integrity
    and more

    Jim Senall

    Matt Foley is an advisor
    want to line-up a series of events

    First proposed by Matt Leonard about 4 months ago.
    Ran in RI, or WA, looking at proximity of schools to high-traffic areas
    If you are within 500 feet of a 50,000+ daily traffic as a school aged
    kid, you are at a health risk

    Each one of hte markers is a school.

    this has been a primary focus of the hackers here.

    This would be an asset because it will show state-wide. Jim's team has
    been doing research into Air quality near the peace bridge.

    How did you get the head-count?

    I don't recall.  The hood has high asthma rates near there.

    it is important to acknowledge the work that has been going on with
    It was part of a suggested reporting strategy, proposed by IRE

    Investigate west did a similar mapping solution for Seattle, and we looked
    and though there were some things missing. Kate has been reaching out ot
    Rochester School Districts, who are now seeming a bit jumpy now... there
    have been important studies that have come out from places like MIT since
    we started doing more projects like this, so there is more stuff here.

    citizen journalism, community engagements, putting pressure onto districts
    about healthy schools, who are working out of Albany. This is something we
    want to share under appropriate licenses, so other places can drill down
    into their school districts.

    What specific things?
    We got a list of all the recordings from 1977 to 2011, of what traffic
    was. It doesn't tell how they got it, there are over 40,000 routes.
    There are 10's of thousands of routes that have to be done. the vocabulary
    used to describe where the strips are is well thought out, but not
    parse-able.... for us, we were lucky, for routes over 25K/day, there were
    less than 200.

    1) We want to automatically add the routes, rather than do it by hand.
    2) have the nodes not be dots, have better icons.

    it would be helpful to have a colored key for how close the schools are to

    How did you pick 50K cars?

    Washington did it first in their study. Science.

    We want to add the routes that have 49,999/day traffic too though

    We are reaching out to MIT who did the studies recently.

    To complete:
        - Get 25K+, with icons, and legend
        - Short of going out with a measuring tape, we'd like to get distances

    For those who have feedback, or content, or graphics, you can use the
    meetup link, the subreddit

Mihir - RhoktheHood
    Project by Mike Nolan, and myself
    We wrote the project to provide an easy way to 

    Started at Random hack of Kindness Hackathon
    Henry Fitts, from the City, came and talked about the Neighborhood Data
    Map. He demo'd, and it was really cool.
    Filter parts of city based on poverty rates, and crime rates, and others.

    Mike Nolan wasn't there yet, but I was disappointed at how I had to
    install Microsoft Silverlight.

    Henry told us that this version was going to be taken down in January, and
    the 2nd version would be put up in March.

    I went to the "coder day of service" in NYC

    All of a sudden, I had 5 people join  my team, 4 devs, and a UI/UX

    Version 1 Made in 6 hours

    Version 2, in progress
    We have actual UX designer

    Using same data as NBD?



    Idea 1
        Photo collage idea
        people like to cut out images from magazines, and post them on their
        wall. Popular in college dorms. Arrange pictures on their wall
        Same can be brought to tablet. Could use a finger to free-form select
        portions of a photo, and customize their desktop. I'm sure that
        photoshop has that functionality.

        There is a gap for people who can't use photoshop, but want to use
        that functionality.
    Idea 2
        There are a number of "sub projects"
        connectivity of devices, laptops, tvs, projectors
        it is difficult to connect these devices. It would be nice if people
        could log into a server, and post their presentations to a server.
        There are other issues with connectivity too. I think people should be
        able to play xbox live on a cell phone.
        There is ample opportunity for devices to be connected
        Not as defined


Andy McGraw
    One thing that is really interesting, for journalists, is real-time.
    Everything is being forced to be real-time. That is a result of us as
    journalists trying to keep up. Location based data is presence. There is
    lots of geotagged data that is proliferating right now. More so than the
    data we looked at today.

    I know how to do advanced search for "all people in Rochester talking
    about HHROC."

    lots of journalists would benefit, from in a usable way, understand what
    is being talked about, and where, and when. Combining foursquare with

    I do some work for sports. i did some work for stats inc in chicago. Did
    stuff for the NBA, and ESPN. If there are students, and did some work with
    sports science, which hooks into the personal health, and mobile health,
    and individual tracking of personal health data. Haven't done any real
    work with datasets along those lines, but you can see that impacting
    sports in lots of facets, but seeing sports become a laboratory for larger

    D3, Processing

    TD: Saw an article for a company that gets a sensor of all Pop Warner
    football helmets

    I've got a full-plate, but if people want to get bootstrapped.

Jim heaney
    Grab Bag of things, Some are small projects.

    Data set that was generated by a University that takes pollution data, and
    weighs it. The main data used at Newsrooms is Toxic Release Inventory. It
    doesn't take into account how toxic the chemicals are. it is a national
    data set, and what I want to do in our market, and for other markets, we
    should see who are the "worst" polluters. Who is releasing the stuff that
    will kill you... How do you make it make sense to readers?

    Got data on Economic Development Contracts.
        want to build formulas that calculate the best "bang for buck."

    ML: there is very little transparency on the front-end on who is applying.
    JH: There is alot of data in some places, but the challenge is making
    sense of the numbers. That is like gauging the health of the economy based
    on unemployment. The challenge is to build a database.

    I had an RIT Co-op build a searchable database. Voter Reg Records, public
    payroll. We have a huge database that will give raw returns

    Project 3 - PANDA
        Take what has started with this database, and make it better
        add visualizations, etc...
        my interest is to build tools for reporters that can take data and
        make sense of it. There are precious few tools that can do that.

        having data come to you, rather than you going to data. There is a
        great opportunity to build those tools. having IP be the prototype,
        that can have a tremendous impact on the industry

    We've generated lots of tools, but they are hard to use if you are not a
    hacker. Cracking the nut is getting that same power into the hands of
    anyone. Drawing a box, getting all the data in that box.

    Journos get scared off of tech as fast as anyone else. Reporters felt that
    if they knew how to use email, and google things, they were fine. Most
    don't even know how to use excel. The challenge is to make tools that are
    "dumb" enough for anyone to use.

    If we could build some tools that have application just in other markets
    in NYS. You could do a story on pollution, so can I, and distribution
    partners can do it too.

    There are opportunities, where if we pilot some things

    IDA's have extensive annual reporting requirements

    I haven't come here with a concrete idea, but I work with Educational data,
    particularly higher ed. There are so may public CES, NSF, lots of data sets.
    Lots of longitudinal data, characteristics of schools, and students. I'm used
    to working in the EDU setting, focusing on retention of students of color,
    drop-out rates, etc... hearing you talk, I was brainstorming for a Grant for
    Association of Institutional research, to develop a tool instead of just a
    data set, and then examining the impact of that tool. I'll be writing something
    on that int he next month.

    The American Graduate - runs on PBS, could be interesting

Andrea Hickerson
    Doing the Digital Journalism Incubator, and Educaiton is topic so I'm so
    happy to meet you. Diane Ravich (Reign of Error) is the book for class.
    not sure if students will write for students/teachers/pa­rents.

    In terms of what I do at RIT, I love guest speakers. They are building
    their own "mini-companies" in this incubator. 

    Having a HHROC meeting that coincides with my class

    MY approach to Journalism/Ed is collaborative. WE agree we should, bu
    then it falls apart. I'm open to suggestions to how we get stuff done.

    Building tools for reporters I think is hugely interesting, particularly
    open source stuff

    I still like to write when I can, and I write about running when I can. I
    think there is data about who organizes races, and understanding how much
    money comes in for charity

    I've had an idea for "who should I cheer for?" an app that shows the rap
    sheet of each team

    I know there is a journalist that started at Boston Phoenix, who did the
    sports blotter, all the latest interactions between the law and players.

Jim Day:
    I don't have specific projects with data collection, not the same as
    journalism, long-form documentary work. My interest in open source code, making
    things like tablets and cameras. I use magic lantern, and I use these to be
    my monitor for cameras. I'm amazed at what changes within hardware, and what
    doesn't. I've been obsessed with the idea of how to write metadata into the
    photos before they are sent.

Kyle Psaty
    Our company (Roberts) that does work with Xerox on a project called The Big Freeze.
    SLR's in a circular array around subject.

    Anyone interested in the interconnectedness of things
    Age of Context
        Shell Israel, Forbes
        Robert Scobel, Rackspace, formerly M$

    They spent lots of time interviewing technologists, and how they brought
    tech and data together.

        The one I've been spending the most time on, is MonroeMinutes, which is
        now based on BarkingOwl. Scrapes PDF's from a URL, and then makes them
        searchable. If you ahve a website, with lots of pdfs, we can dispatch
        barkingowl, to create a database of serachable data.

        It's been through about 7 iterations
        it's not working perfectly, but I started that in August of 2012

        another tool. collection of real-time info for non-violent crimes
        I'd love to take this to the next level, and make it searchable

    VADIR Data
        Have API's

    Syracuse Crime Data
        Have API's

    UV Index

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