NPR

20 posts
Practical tips for scraping data

It’s an unpleasant feeling when you have an idea for a project and the data you need is sitting right in front of you on a bunch of random-looking webpages instead of a nice, delimited file. You could either forget about your idea (which is what most people do), you can record manually, or you can take an automated route with a bit of scraping know-how. I often find myself...

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Editing O.J.: Charting Changes to the Infamous Figure’s Wikipedia Page

I’ve just finished watching ESPN’s fabulous O.J.: Made in America, a five-part documentary about the Hall of Fame football player. Somewhere in the process of digesting this latest — and, perhaps, best — telling of O.J.’s story, I scoured Wikipedia for details about his life. I discovered that the page has been edited more than 4,000 times since it went up in 2003, back when Wikipedia user “Vera Cruz” posted...

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Let’s Tess(t)ellate: The Electoral College in Tile Grid Maps, 1980-2012

I recently added some new charting tools here thanks to NPR’s excellent daily graphics rig, which we used recently to compare air quality in Seoul with other large cities. There’s still plenty of tinkering to be done here with the rig, especially with deployment to WordPress. But as a first public test, I made several tile grid maps to show Electoral College results in presidential elections since 1980. The “maps”...

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School district spending, against national average

Wrapping up their week-long School Money project, NPR asks: Is there a better way to pay For America’s schools? The story leads with the chart above, which shows per student spending by district and state. Each dot represents a district, and each column represents a state. States are sorted by per student median spending. So, you can see the spread in distribution for your state and how it compares to...

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Counting the numbers in the news

Truth & Quantity by Gregor Hochmuth is what happens when you strip out all context from an NPR newscast and only look at the numbers. Every day at 8am and 8pm, Truth & Quantity transcribes NPR’s hourly news update using speech recognition & natural language analysis. It then selects all plural nouns from the news script and generates two compilations: one for each month (going back to 2009) and another...

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Power sources in each state

In a clean and simple set of slope charts, Alyson Hurt for NPR shows the shifts in power sources — coal, gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, and renewables — from 2004 to 2014. As you might guess, coal power output is down in most states and natural gas is up. On a national scale, the hydroelectric and renewable sources need more time. Grab the data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to...

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Top high school plays and musicals, by decade

Based on annual high school play and musical rankings from the magazine Dramatics, which date back to 1938, NPR charted the most popular plays by decade. For a variety of reasons — cast size, family-friendliness, and licensing — the oldies still reign. There are two views. In one, the top six plays/musicals are shown each decade and colored by when they were first produced. Mouse over a play, and it's...

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Disaster risk indices estimate impact on people

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 can affect countries differently, depending on the people's ability to withstand and recover from such a disaster. INFORM attempts to assess this risk, so that organizations can make better-informed decisions about what relief to send. Greg Myre for NPR explains with a heatmap. [via @onyxfish] Tags: earthquake, NPR

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Growth of urban Wal-Mart

Maybe you saw the Wal-Mart growth map I made a while back. NPR takes a much closer look at Wal-Mart's current growth strategy, as the store goes smaller and caters to more urban areas. That means less heads of lettuce and more pre-made salads. NPR focused on the percentage of three city populations that are near a Wal-Mart: An NPR analysis found that in 2005, none of Washington's 600,000 residents...

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