Sunday, March 08, 2015

NICAR15: Today I Learned ... I Want To

I'm writing this on the last day of #NICAR15, but I should've started this before #tapestryconf five days ago. Let this be a lesson to you on the way to Denver for #NICAR16. Take my advice:

Every night before you go to bed, take a couple of minutes to write down what you learned that day, and what you want to do with it. TiL and IWT for each and every day. Better yet, work on it all day. Do it on your phone if you have to. I'm doing this in the airport as I wait for my flight back to Austin, but I bet I miss stuff.

Getting to Tapestry 2015

TiL

  • That fog can bring an airport to its knees.

Tapestry 2015

TiL

  • The NYT is still awesome, but that's nothing new.
  • Meredith Broussard is full of energy and vigor, and it is contagious. Thank you for your enthusiasm.
  • Where is the YOU in my visualization. Chad Skelton gave a great talk at Tapestry about keeping the reader in mind when it comes to your presentations. Showing income; add a comparison calculator.
  • Ben Jones' 7 Data Story Types was thought provoking.
  • All the other talks were good, but this is the downside of not keeping the list as I go along.
  • Keep in mind the reasons stories interest people. It boils down to the basic needs of food, safety and companionship.

IWT

  • Make a "you" based visualization this month. Maybe our property tax project might be the avenue.

NICAR day 1: Programming in Python

TiL

  • Lots. Python is a lot easier to learn than I imagined.
  • I can make a scraper.
  • There is a drop down in Sublime to change your tab stops to spaces, and you can set how many.
  • Add this to user preferences in Sublime to show all whitespace: "draw_white_space": "all",
  • I already knew Tom Meagher was a kindred spirit, but he reconfirmed it. Bravo.

IWT

  • Create a script in Python where I can feed it a csv from Socrata and convert the Address field to six new fields.
  • Create a Python script using csvkit to combine multiple sheets within an excel file. (Tom says I need to look at  for this.

NICAR day 2

TiL

  • I can teach Regular Expressions on a bus, in a bar, and in a way people can understand. There is some secret sauce:
    • Explain the goal
    • Use regex101.com
    • Use groups
    • Make it useful
  • importHTML(“url”,”table”,#) to pull tables into Google Spreadsheet.
    • I can do this in python
    • Or I can use Google Spreadsheets if I'm lucky
    • Or I can use import.io (might be best of those). (I didn't see this demoed, but I Want To explore it)
  • Analytics Add-in for Excel is awesome for:
    • Making histogram of data
    • Simple regressions: but do it in SPSS for realz
    • Simple correlations
  • Mapbox meh
  • Augie Armendariz is awesome. A kindred spirit. I want to know a 1/4 of what he does.
  • ogr2ogr might come in handy some day to convert shapefiles
  • The csvkit in2sql is freaking awesome. Sniffs the csv and creates an import statement.

IWT

  • Show the Data Analysis Add-in to my classes, and use it more.
  • Teach the Regex class at NICAR in Denver.
  • Use csvkit to wrangle property tax data
  • Explore import.io

NICAR DAY 3

TiL

  • There is some command-line mySQL that is cool, but I think csvkit is more awesome
  • You can reference the index of a field in a select statement in the group by and order by fields
SELECT name, job, year, sum(salary)
FROM myTable
GROUP BY 1,2,3

IWT

  • Review notes from command-line MySQL for goodies.
  • Look up using CASE in select statements. Liz did something interesting there I don't fully remember.
  • Look more into Silk.co as I didn't get see the demos, but it looks interesting.

NICAR DAY 4

TiL

  • Just-enough-Django was some kind of awesome.
  • We can easily publish our admins to our local network. It is in the f'n docs.
  • Ben Welsh is also a kindred spirit.

IWT

  • Rebuild homicides in Django?
  • Do Restaurants back end in Django?
  • The wine guide comes first, I think.
  • Bring a gaggle of UT-Austin Journalism students to #NICAR16 in Denver, so they can be inspired early in their careers.
CORRECTION: I had an embarrassing spell correction error when describing Meredith Broussard's enthusiasm. I've fixed it now.

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