If a dog is a man’s best friend, then ScraperWiki may be a journalist’s. The folks at International Journalists’ Network have explained the changes that the platform has recently undergone, the platform now making it easier than ever to get, clean, analyze and visualize data.
There are many ways to illustrate data right on ScraperWiki too. Here’s the way the platform summarizes the data on my Twitter followers.
Not bad, right? But the best use of ScraperWiki, I find, is to combine it with a visualization tool. In this case, I create a dataset and then a visualization with this information on Many Eyes.
Now I’ll use this information to create a visualization with Many Eyes.
And the end result is a clear look into the people I follow.
What if I want to showcase my Twitter presence, showing more of the great person that I am? I follow the same steps on ScraperWiki, and I have the following Many Eyes illustration.
ScraperWiki isn’t a one-trick–err, labrador dog either for journalists. It also has a “Code in your browser” option, allowing journalists to create datasets in dozens of languages, scrape data and save it to a datastore. This means that while the ScribbleLive Success team learned the basics of coding at the Ladies Learning Code workshop (follow our adventures here) Sept. 21, others don’t need a coding day—only ScraperWiki.
What I find most interesting with tools like Many Eyes, Google Fusion or ScraperWiki is that it looks like all are working toward a common goal, to simplify workflow for everyone. And the Jschool graduate that I am appreciates that ScraperWiki has a special place in its heart for journalists—the platform gives users an upgrade to a journalism account, which is currently free and offers up to 20 data sets. (The default account comes with only three while other options are not free.)
While the upgrade is free and comes without the platform asking you to confirm your affiliation to a news organization, this could change in the future. Start today.
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