Maps and data score big grants from Knight News Challenge

Posted to News  |  Tags:  |  Nathan Yau

Since 2007, the Knight News Foundation has awarded millions of dollars in grants to fund "innovative ideas that develop platforms, tools and services to inform and transform community news, conversations and information distribution and visualization." There were 12 grants awarded this year, and three of them deal with maps. The folks at Stamen scored the biggest grant at $400k for their project CityTracking:

To make municipal data easy to understand, CityTracking will allow users to create embeddable data visualizations that are appealing enough to spread virally and that are as easy to share as photos and videos. The dynamic interfaces will be appropriate to each data type, starting with crime and working through 311 calls for service, among others. The creators will use high design standards, making the visuals beautiful as well as useful.

That's obviously something we'll need to keep an eye on.

The other two mapping projects were GoMap Riga (Marcis Rubenis and Kristofs Blaus), which will place real-time local news on maps and Tilemapping (Development Seed), which will be a tool to help journalists make maps more easily.

Broken record, yes I am, but data is gonna be big I tells ya. Big.

See the quick ten-second pitches from all twelve winners below. I'm intrigued by The Cartoonist. They're going to use cartoon-like games to get engaged readers and get them involved in the news.


Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …