NICAR14 The short link to this list is (case sensitive).

Almost 1,000 people registered for the annual Computer Assisted Reporting conference this year, making it the biggest NICAR ever. Thanks again to Stephen Stirling and Frederick Kaimann of the New Jersey Star-Ledger for creating NICAR bingo with code lent by WNYC.

Make note: NICAR 2015 will be March 5–8 in Atlanta.

This is a collection of all the practical knowledge journalists specializing in investigative reporting shared in four days. It is a lot and deep learning takes time, so consider this your archive.

If you went to the conference, Matt Waite has some good advice for how to make the most of the enthusiasm and frenzied exhaustion you’re feeling immediately after coming home. I strongly suggest you not only read it, but take it to heart. Especially the kicker.

Have session materials? Send me email or ping me on Twitter @MacDiva and I’ll add them to this list.

If you’re looking for a job, IRE keeps a list of open positions and OpenNews Source just launched their jobs list. If you’re specifically interested in data visualization jobs, look here.

For previous years’ tutorials, videos, presentations and tips see the lists from 2013, 2012 and 2011.

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Presentations & Tutorials | Software & Tools | References | Lightning Talks | Work Samples

Presentations & Tutorials

Make your first news app (from Ben Welsh)
Build maps with leaflet and mapbox.js (from Becca Aaronson)
Creating maps: principles, mistakes, and potential (from Noah Veltman & Tom MacWright)
• Excel Magic class handout and Excel data (from MaryJo Webster)
• 50 ideas 50 minutes handout (from MaryJo Webster)
Maps and Charts in R: Real Newsroom Examples (from Matt Waite)
Intro to MySQL tutorial materials (from Liz Lucas)
PostGIS + CartoDB (from Michael Keller & Andrew Hill)
Demystifying D3, an intro to the grammar of graphics (from Alastair Dant)
Introduction to D3.js (from Irene Ros)
Demystifying d3.js Workshop (from Irene Ros)
Everyday Scripting (from Agustin Armendariz)
Amazon Cloud Basics (from Scott Klein)
• Grabbing Data from Websites: tips & tricks (from Scott Klein)
Intro to Tableau (from Jewel Loree)
• SQLite from the Command Line slides & GitHub repo (from Matt Kiefer)
Working with NPR’s Apps Template (from Tyler Fisher)
Insight and Enlightenment and an expansion on data, patternicity and biases (from Alberto Cairo)
• Notes from The Data-Driven Story (from Stephen Suen)
• Data-Driven Story: Putting the Package Together slides (from Maud Beelman)
Love Your Life, Retire Your Servers (from Andy Boyle & Tasneem Raja
Getting Started with Excel (from Helena Bengtsson)
NodeXL for Network Analysis (from Peter Aldhous)
• Investigating Racial Inequality in Your Region Presentation | Tipsheet (from Lawrence Lanahan)
Mapping 1: displaying geographical data with QGISHands (from Peter Aldhous)
Mapping 2: Manipulating geographical data with QGIS (from Peter Aldhous)
Counting and Summing with SQL (from Andrea Fuller)
Digging online for global data (from Jonathan Stoneman)
Mining the Census for Every Beat (from Ronald Campbell)
• Census I: Must-have data for every beat slides & handout (from Paul Overberg)
• Census I: Crunching Census Commuting Data handout (from Mike Maciag)
• Census II: slides (from Paul Overberg)
• Data Deep Dive I handout (from Paul Overberg)
Free CAR Tools (from Matt Wynn & Martin Burch)
• Harnessing the Power of the Crowd presentation (from Robert Benincasa) | notes (from Stephen Suen)
What to Consider Before Scraping (from Isaac Wolf)
• Tools for cracking PDFs panelist notes (from Jeremy Merrill) | Notes (from Justin Myers)
• The customized Census: How to use microdata when you just can’t find the right table slides (from Robert Gebeloff) | notes (from Justin Myers)
• Justin Myers’s Dig into business with data investigations notes
• Justin Myers’s Enhance your stories with statistics notes
Mining Health Care Data (from Peter Eisler)
How to make a story map with photos, text and ArcGIS (from Sharon Machlis)
Intro to R & Beginners’ Guide to R (from Sharon Machlis)
A few of my favorite (health data) things (from Charles Ornstein)
How ProPublica’s Prescriber Checkup Came Together (from Charles Ornstein)
Intro to GitHub (from Jordan McCullough)
Collaborative Reporting with GitHub (from Ben Balter)
Mining Nonprofit Data (from Kendall Taggart)
Complaints: A road map for killer investigations & State Consumer Complaint Contacts (from Tisha Thompson & Jill Reipenhoff)
A Reporter’s Guide to Unleashing E-Docs (from Deborah Nelson)
• Learn how to use Census Microdata (from Katie Genadek)
Dataviz for Everyone slides (from Chris Amico, Lena Groeger & Ryan Pitts)
Keeping tabs on crime slides (from Laura Norton Amico)
How to Feel Like You’re Hacking Without Really Doing It (from Samantha Sunne)
Campaign Finance I: Mining FEC Data ZIP file of slides & tipsheet (from Chris Schnaars)
• Storytelling as Presentation Tool Slides (from Chrys Wu, Helene Sears, Aron Pilhofer & Alyson Hurt) | Notes (from Stephen Suen)
Cooking With Hardware (from Team Blinky)
Intro to Ruby (from Al Shaw)
When to Scrape (from Nils Mulvad)
Build a police scanner for $20 (from Ken Schwencke & Jon Keegan)
How Panda Works (from Christopher Groskopf)
• Weathering the Storm presentation & tipsheet (from Stephen Stirling & Ian Livingston)
Make Dirty Day Shine with OpenRefine (from Frederick Kaimann)
• Threat Modeling: Planning Digital Security for your Story video and slides (from Jonathan Stray)
• The Wall Street Journal Encrypted Chat installation instructions
PyCAR Python mini-bootcamp (from Tom Meagher)
Getting Started With Python (from Anthony DeBarros)
• Intermediate Python: Refactoring 101 Documentation | GitHub repo and a well-commented example (from Jeremy Bowers, Serdar Tumgoren & Katie Park)
What is a Data Desk (from Ben Welsh)
• Crossing the language boundaries across your newsroom: journo to dev and back notes (from Stephen Suen)
Intro to Google Earth Engine (from Vanessa Schneider)
• Deep Data Dives notes (Team Al Jazeera US & friends)
Learn Regex (from Amanda Hickman)
Rifling Through the Mapping Toolbox (from Michael Corey & Ryan McNeill)
Census III: mapping & presentation (from John Keefe & Chris Amico)
• How to remove water from census shape files (from John Keefe)
• PDF Scraping With Tabula, including an explanation of its algorithms (from Jeremy Merrill)
• Tracking Hazardous Waste (from Ben Poston)
• Social Media for Investigation tools handout (from Mandy Jenkins & Robert Hernandez)
• Build your Twitter bot army – Notes (from Stephen Suen)
• Connecting Charts to Live Data slides & spreadsheet (from Timothy Barrmann)
• Tips for Covering Money in Politics stories (from Jack Gillum)

Pre-NICAR Events
• Reynolds Center Detecting Corporate Fraud workshop slides & handouts | Joanna S. Kao’s notes
Why Does Fraud Happen? (audio from Theo Francis)
Going through SEC’s 10-Ks, 10-Qs and more (audio from Theo Francis)
Don’t be intimidated (audio from Theo Francis & Roddy Boyd)
• TechRaking 5-ish (CIR) – Bootstrapping the News

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Presentations & Tutorials | Software & Tools | References | Lightning Talks | Work Samples

Software & Tools

Campaign Finance Tools (from Aaron Bycoffe)
Computational Journalism on a Stick (from M. Edward Borasky)
FOIA Machine
• What Do They Know (UK FOI), Web-based Python data analysis
Oatmeal geocoded
Kartograph framework for building interactive map apps
OpenRefine for data cleaning
The Miso Project for interactive storytelling and data visualization
D3.chart from The Miso Project for building reusable charts with d3.js
TextQL – execute SQL against structured text like CSV or TSV
Rank and Filed – search SEC filings for free
CometDocs (free for IRE members) transforms websites into structured data or an API
Investigative Dashboard – helps expose illicit ties that cross country borders
Captricity can extract handwriting from paper forms and PDFs
Tableau plug-in for Excel
Panopticlick shows how unique your browser is. You may not be as private or hidden as you think. – wifi hardware to DIY
• Use GPGTools to encrypt email and manage OpenPGP keys
Google 2-step Verification
• Make a calculator with Equation by Sisi Wei & Steven Melendez
Stacked Up – check that Philadelphia neighborhood schools have all of the required instructional materials before school resumes in fall
Shut That Down – see who’s funding hate in your state
Sunlight Foundation APIs
Census Reporter
IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series) offers complete-count data from 1800s censuses of Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and the U.S.
• Brown University’s US2010 census project
Website Watcher tracks site changes
• Find phone numbers with AnyWho (U.S.) | Worldwide: Infobel & Numberway
Snap Bird searches your tweets & DMs and friends’ tweets Twitter analytics
• Twitter’s own analytics tools
Tweetbeep Twitter analytics
DownloadThemAll browser plugin
• NPR’s Apps Template
• Chicago Tribune’s Tarbell (Google Spreadsheets + AWS)
Vega visualization grammar
Lyra visualization design environment
Overview Project
Open Source Alternatives a.k.a. OSALT
Tineye reverse image search
• Falcon Google Chrome extension for people search
• Cryptocat private chat for Web browsers and iPhone
• Tor Project prevents traffic analysis
Freze saves screenshot + website source code
• Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories

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Presentations & Tutorials | Software & Tools | References | Lightning Talks | Work Samples


• The IRE-NICAR Database Library
• Alberto Cairo’s blog, The Functional Art
• Mike Bostock’s Let’s Make a Map tutorial
• “How Designers Destroyed the World” by Mike Monteiro
• “The Grammar of Graphics (Statistics and Computing)” by Leland Wilkinson et al.
How to Read Histograms and Use Them in R
What statistical analysis should I use? (from UCLA — Go Bruins!)
Econometrics lectures by Mark Thomas, University of Oregon
Fracking tipsheet (from Mike Soraghan)
• Make Tidy Data from start to finish by Hadley Wickham
Easing Functions Cheat Sheet by Andrey Sitnik
Mapmakers Cheat Sheet by Tom MacWright
• Information on the sustainability of digital formats from the Library of Congress
• Scott Murray’s D3.js tutorials
Data Resources for Dams, Impoundments and Levees from Society of Environmental Journalists
ArcGIS Gallery of maps, maps, maps
Causes of Death in the World (1990, 2005, 2010) from Health Intelligence
• The Pew Research Center Data Feed
New Directions in Cryptography (PDF) by Whitfield Diffie & Martin E. Hellman
Best practices for FOIA & government information requests (from Office of Government Information Services)
FERPA Fact fact-checks the use of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act when denying access to public records. A Student Press Law Center project.
• Edward Tufte’s Sparkline theory and practice
A Map That Wasn’t a Map – Mother Jones case study
VINELink – find out if someone is incarcerated
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)
• Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED), St. Louis Federal Reserve
Algorithmic Accountability Reporting paper by Nick Diakopoulus
PythonJournos Google Group
National Historical Geographic Information System – the U.S. government’s open data repository
How to Mail Merge in Microsoft Word
• Easy maps with Ari Lamstein’s choroplethr
Six Provocations for Big Data by danah boyd & Kate Crawford
• Noah Veltman’s explanation of static vs. dynamic websites
• “Building Data Science Teams” by DJ Patil
• The ultimate in user testing (seriously): Test your mobile app on drunk users
• How to set up your laptop to develop news apps the NPR way
• “Multiliteracies for a Digital Age” by Stuart A. Selber (library lookup | Amazon | Southern Illinois University Press)
• Noah Veltman’s Learning Lunches – an effort to demystify technical topics that come up often in newsroom development
• “Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship through Randomized Experimentation and Participant Observation” by Gary King, Jennifer Pan and Margaret E. Roberts
• Political Framing Blog uses machine learning to find trends in congressional rhetoric

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Presentations & Tutorials | Software & Tools | References | Lightning Talks | Work Samples

Lighting Talks

• Refactoring; or Why Your Code Sucks and How to Fix ItChristopher Groskopf
• A Few of My Favorite Wee ThingsLena Groeger
Natural Language Processing in the kitchenAnthony Pesce
• Five (more) algorithms in five (more) minutes GitHub repo | VideoChase Davis
• What we can learn from terrible data viz (slides | Video) – Katie Park
Practical CalculusSteven Rich
• Detecting What Isn’t There – Sisi Wei
• The whole internet in 5 minutes! (Slides | GitHub repo | Video) – Jeremy Bowers
How to Raise an ArmyTyler Fisher
• You Must Learn (Slides | Video) – Ben Welsh

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Presentations & Tutorials | Software & Tools | References | Lightning Talks | Work Samples

Work Samples

• Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt (NPR)
The GitHub repo for Planet Money’s T-Shirt Project (NPR)
• BBC News Interactives & Graphics
Visualizing Buffy (data visualization, made with d3.js)
Timeline: Shots fired at LAX Terminal 3 checkpoint (KPCC)
Timeline: The search for Christopher Dorner” (KPCC)
Fire Tracker (KPCC)
Confira a evolução da população do mundo desde 1950 (Epoca)
50 Years of Change tracking LGBT civil rights (University of Wisconsin-Madison cartography, multiple representations of the same dataset for clear explanation, recommended by Alberto Cairo) Explorer (WSJ)
Russia’s Dubius Vote (WSJ – histograms example)
Portraits of the Hundreds of Children Killed by Guns Since Newtown (Mother Jones)
Playgrounds for Everyone (NPR)
Behind the Bloodshed: The Untold Story of America’s Mass Killings (USA Today)
A Special Report on the Rise of Mass Shootings in America (Mother Jones)
Secrecy 101 (The Columbus Dispatch)
Washington: A World Apart (The Washington Post)
NHS Winter Accident & Emergency tracker (BBC News)
The Child Exchange: Inside America’s underground market for adopted children (Reuters Investigates)
Chicago Under the Gun (The Chicago Tribune)
Deadly Delays (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
Twisters: Road to Larissa (Adam Pearce)
News Nerd First Projects – “It’s okay. We all sucked once.”

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Presentations & Tutorials | Software & Tools | References | Lightning Talks | Work Samples