Open Data Journalism for Change

Since 2011 when LA NACION Data was launched as an open data journalism initiative, its strategy has been the same: to do data journalism AND to open data. The vision we have is that each set of data that is published means that more knowledge is released.

Anyone can think that opening data is none of our business, but in Argentina, a country without FOI law nor significant open data initiatives we wanted to do data journalism and to do so we had to build our datasets from scratch and share them, to demonstrate that it can be done anywhere, by anyone and each dataset we build and open adds value not only today and not only for us. So build datasets and open them, why? Seguir leyendo

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LA NACION DATA (Argentina)

LA NACION DATA website is not just a website, its a strategy, a project and a team. The strategy has to do with the commitment of using data to tell stories and expand the use of data, preferably open data, to activate demand of public information in a country still without FOI Law.

We apply for the Best data-based journalism website prize, based on quality of content, frequency and variety of subjects covered. Regarding frequency we update our data site usually 2 times a day (with a total of + 650 articles from April 2015 to April 2016).

The variety of subjects covered include long term projects, daily reporting and open data basis.  Seguir leyendo

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Argentina´s prison system´s overview with data

Publication Date: January, 25 th, 2016

In order to depict reality in Argentine prisons, we used in this project our “scrollytelling” format by means of videos, images and interactive graphics to make the most of a multimedia platform for a data heavy investigation: “Argentina´s prison system´s overview with data”

Given the fact that security is an everyday concern of citizens, we wanted to show how penitentiary system vices prevent the resocialization of persons who commit crimes.

Tableau: Evolution of population in Prisons

Overpopulation, undernourishment and repeated human rights violations are some of the aspects that we could tell, based on investigative journalism work which took a lot of time and effort for information gathering and analysis.  Seguir leyendo
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Congresoscopio relaunched with Senate data and blog for political parties voice

Congresoscopio, the news app, was relaunched in LA NACIÓN website in 2016 with new functionalities and contents. The database of more than 300 laws considered since 2010 corresponding to the House of Representatives has been now increased by database of the Senators, thanks to data access established and also to the fact that LA NACIÓN has requested said access last December.

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Public Officials Asset Disclosure: making public documents more open

BEFORE: Scanned PDF

 

In order to make public documents even more public, Declaraciones Juradas Abiertas, our Open statement of assets project, pushed borders of transparency once again.

We believe that opening data is a huge change inside journalism, but we also believe that we must open our building process of the platform to complete the cycle and to make easier for others to build sites like this one in their own contexts.  Seguir leyendo

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Use of Data for Simulation: Interactive Data Calculators

2016 Income tax calculator

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1794133-calculadora-de-impuesto-a-las-ganancias

Given the changes made on income tax and due to the fact that is difficult to understand the new legislation, a new tool was created. Said tool enables each user to personalize its use through data provided (number of children or civil status) in order to have an estimate of what the user must pay for income tax. This tool is very important for those Argentine citizens who must pay this tax.  Seguir leyendo

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Industrial and financial activity data ready and open

The Industrial and Financial activity data ready series, are new series of datasets that include a dataViz ready. We prepared each of these series manually, to be ready to illustrate many stories that reuse data or that are monitoring industries, financial activities or employment.  Seguir leyendo

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Argentina 2015 presidential elections Geolocating polling stations

Introduction

Knowing that 2015 was going to be a strong election’s year in Argentina at La Nación we started early planning a strategy to tackle a long known problem that kept us from being able to show our readers the election results at a very fine-grained level. The geolocation of all the polling stations in Argentina.

From previous experiences in 2013 we knew that putting in an enormous effort we were able to geolocate the polling stations of Buenos Aires City and province (approximately 5300 polling stations)

The overall number we were facing for Argentina was over 13000 polling stations and we could not tell in advance if they were going to be the same from 2013.

So we decided that we wanted to try a new approach to reduce the problem using some machine learning technique. We knew from the start that the validation part of the process will still be tedious and gigantic but reusing and customizing some of the tools developed for the manual approach for 2013 we thought is was doable and worth giving a try.

 

Sources

To be able to do a jump start we started working on 2013 data. We did not want to wait until June/July for the government to release the final list of polling stations for the 2015 presidential elections.

On one hand we had the inventory of the 13,000 polling stations given by the government for 2013 with an “address” but no coordinates to render on a map.

On the other hand we had another inventory of schools for Argentina, made for totally different purpose by the Ministry of Education but luckily it included their corresponding geolocation. Back in 2013 we saw that many polling stations were located on schools throughout Argentina we decided to try to match them using a Machine Learning technique.  Seguir leyendo

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Using City of Buenos Aires Open Data to monitor citizen´s reports

The  City of Buenos Aires publishes it´s citizens reports in a very structured nice way through their portal Buenos Aires “Data” in CSVs per year since 2011 . In 2015 it reached more than 840.000 rows, as every year it grows so we integrated all the years into a SQL server so we can make comparisons and analyze the evolution. In total the series sums more than 2,5MM rows covering 2011 to 2015. 

This dataset contains different aspects that concern citizens, and it´s geolocated so we love to use ir for reporting and monitoring.

Here is the series that included the calls but not the problems solved. We are waiting and have asked the City of Buenos Aires to release the tickets closed so we can really monitor how they are performing.  Seguir leyendo

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Argentina: Elections 2015

During 2015, Argentina had national and local elections including executive and legislative branches. It was a record for us citizens to vote in 6 opportunities the same year, for example in the City of Buenos Aires. In the national level, we had three elections: the Primaries, the General and the Ballotage elections in which president Macri won.

In terms of data: more than 32.000.000 possible voters distributed in 95.000 polling stations from 14.000 schools in all the territory of  Argentina, multiplied by 3 national elections.

Knowing that 2015 was going to be a strong election’s year in Argentina at La Nación we started early planning a strategy to tackle a long known problem that kept us from being able to show our readers the election results at a very fine-grained level. The geolocation of all the polling stations in Argentina.

Don’t miss: How we geolocated > 13.000 polling stations? Hint: A little help from Machine Learning, Knight Mozilla OpenNews fellows and  6 members of the team working heavily on validation process for almost 6 months. Take a look at the tools. 

Thanks to this effort we had our exclusive geolocalized polling votation national map.

For this unique opportunity we could focus in designing creative pieces that will serve  print, web and mobile from scratch reusing the same graphics pieces as well as considering real time data as the first input source.

What makes your project innovative? 

The opportunity to use technology to transfer control to the users and let them see, analyze and compare in detail. In this case our interactive data visualization served also for citizen control as we could reach and show the detail of every polling station including the original form manually completed and signed by the desk authorities.

The mix of real time data that was positioned in Lanacion.com home page the same afternoon as results were partially released by the National Electoral Office and a strategy to design only one piece using SVGs to reuse the same that night for the print edition were another innovations.

Using the drawing plugin for Leaflet, Leaflet.draw we could let the reader draw over the map, and with that drawing, through a geospatial query, the user can get the results from each intersecting polling station, aggregate them, and display the selected results.

Crossing two and three datasets in the more atomized level also was new as we could compare by irregular polygons in a map or by structured districts, the evolution of voters in the same polling station.  This is just the beginning of what can be done in the future if we are proactive to prevent fraud and let people control in real time at such a detailed level.

I. How was the election in YOUR voting booth?

Result for the runoff presidential election. The graphic shows the minimum possible detail for the election result. Every single poll station, as well as every telegram with the result of every voting booth are detailed. The main goal  is to personalize the results and engage people to find their own voting booth result.

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