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New spades for digging data

Paul Brannan

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Next week I'll be at the College of Journalism's awayday to do a brief turn on future trends in an attempt to signpost some potential training needs for BBC staff.

Data journalism is looming large on my radar as demand grows for greater openness and accountability from government and businesses in all spheres of life.

Rufus Pollock, one of the founders of the Cambridge-based Open Knowledge Foundation, has just built a new site called Get the Data (below) which aims to help users to get started on finding the information they want, in the format they want, and in the ways to use it.

It's a bit like Wikipedia meets Quora - it's a Q&A site for data-related topics in which both questions and answers can be revised and improved according to moderation rights that individuals earn from the data community.


ScraperWiki (below) is a beta site that is also trying to help people to make sense of data via an online tool to make the process simple and collaborative.

ScraperWiki likens data retrieval to "trying to build something from Lego when someone has hidden the bricks all over town and you have to find them before you can start building".

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