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This link recently saved by strangelyattractive on December 14, 2013
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This link recently saved by strangelyattractive on January 06, 2011
Kevin: Foundation-funded journalism organisation ProPublica has a good guide on how to scrape data from websites. Sometimes you can extract data from websites that do not have them in existing data formats. The guides go into detail on how to crack data from PDFs and also how to use Ruby to code scrapers. It's not necessarily a beginners guide, but it's a good resource.
This link recently saved by strangelyattractive on July 27, 2010
This link recently saved by strangelyattractive on May 12, 2010
Kevin: Michelle Minkoff at Poynter's E-Media Tidbits highlights a great new tool for scraping data from websites. What is scraping data? Before the days of APIs, developers and hackers would often 'scrape' data from websites. This would take data, often from an HTML table, and output the data in a useful format such as CSV that could be more easily manipulated using data tools such as spreadsheet or database software.
Minkoff writes: "It often takes a lot of time and effort to produce programs that extract the information, so this is a specialty. But what if there were a tool that didn't require programming?
Enter OutWit Hub, a downloadable Firefox extension that allows you to point and click your way through different options to extract information from Web pages."
This link recently saved by strangelyattractive on April 30, 2010
Judith Towend at journalism.co.uk talks about Ruby in the Pub, a meeting of developers and journalists. "The evening was also a meeting of cultures; as journalists explained their various work brick walls and developers explained the differences between various coding languages and platforms." It's really important for journalists and developers to work together. I've spent a lot of my career with feet in both camps, being a working journalist while testing new technology on the fly. It has been a rare position. There are misunderstandings in both camps, but hopefully, this type of cultural exchange can change that.
Most useful for me was hearing about the projects developers are implementing in their respective organisations and the tools they are using.
This link recently saved by strangelyattractive on April 16, 2010