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  • Author: Alastair Otter

    Data visualisation & design, journalist, hacker.
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    Tutorial: Extracting data from PDFs with Tabula

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    It’s one of data journalism’s most frustrating challenges. You have a dataset which is perfect for your project, but the data is locked in a PDF that makes it almost impossible to extract. You could try and retype the data yourself, but what if the

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    Working with importHtml: Part 2

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Earlier this week we released the first in our video tutorial series called “Getting Started with Data Journalism”. In that tutorial we looked at using the importHtml command to import data from a Wikipedia page into a Google Sheet. In this, the second part of

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    Getting started with data journalism: a video tutorial series

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Are you keen to learn some data journalism skills but don’t know where to start? Do you want to get up to speed quickly with finding, cleaning, filtering, analysing or visualising data?
    Last week we released the first of our tutorial videos on essential skills

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    Data project: Asbestos in Gauteng schools

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    There are more than 200 schools in Gauteng that are built partially or fully from asbestos, a construction material banned in South Africa and a known cause of cancer. Of these, 29 of the schools are built entirely of asbestos, and should be replaced according

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    A mapping toolbox for journalists: 10+ tools worth checking out

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    This is part 2 of an occasional series on useful tools for data journalists. Part 1: Want to be a data journalist? Learn these important tools or see all the other parts in the series here: The Journalism Toolbox
    Maps are one of the most popular

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    Visualising the price of petrol

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    For some time now I’ve been working on some ideas around presenting the monthly fluctuation in the petrol price in an easy-to-understand and interactive form. For many people the sudden and seemingly volatile changes in the petrol price inspire thoughts of conspiracy (clearly government is

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    Visual storytelling: The story of South Africa’s water

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    In the second-half of 2016, and early 2917, South Africa endured one of its worst droughts in close on 30 years. Coming so close on the heels of the previous year’s severe drought it got me thinking. Most of us grow up knowing that South

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    Essential tips and tools for beginning data journalism

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    This is part 1 of an occasional series looking at useful tools for journalists. You can find the rest of the series here: The Journalism Toolbox
    As the world of journalism changes many journalists are looking to learn new skills; skills better suited to an industry

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    That awkward moment when your competitors use your column to promote their paywall

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    The past couple of years have seen a fair amount of mud-slinging between the Times Media Group (TMG) and Independent Media but this week it reached a new crescendo.
    It began with a piece by Financial Mail’s Ann Crotty in which she asked if Independent

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    Data Viz: What happens when countries rely on coal to grow their economies?

    Posted By Alastair Otter

    Laura Grant and I have just finished a brand new data and visualisation project on the effect coal has on carbon emissions in Bric countries. The data part was all the work of Laura while I spent a lot of time scratching my head of D3.js code (I’m still no expert but I learned a lot).

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