Data Journalism Calling My Name?

View from Hubble Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

The past few weeks, it seems like the universe has been trying to tell me something. Something besides the fact that I needed more sleep and more interviews with nuclear scientists, which was pretty obvious.  No, I believe that the universe is trying to point me into data journalism.  Here’s the evidence:

1. John Keefe, the newly minted “Data News and Technology” chief at WNYC came to talk to my class about using data for both finding and enhancing stories.  He talked about the free online tools, like google fusion tables and map builders that allow even beginners to present data on top of google maps to convey all kinds of information, from political donations across the city to snow-plowed streets. It’s amazing how fast you can build a map with these tools, compared to the complexity of the ArcGIS programs I am used to making maps with. John believes in showing his work, and on his website,, he explains how he made some of his coolest maps.  Continue reading