04 February 2015

All assignments are due by 3 PM the Tuesday before class.

I’m always accessible on Tuesdays until 3PM, so don’t hestitate to ask for help.

Keep spreadsheeting

Filter NYC’s 311 call data to include only Noise complaints from 2014. (Use Complaint Type, starts with and “Noise”; then add a second filter for Created Date between January 1, 2014 and January 1, 2015.)

Play around with it and post something interesting to the tumblr, tagged 311 assignment.


We’ll be working in pairs on community profiles.

Students will work in pairs to compile a portfolio of data about a single community, based primarily on publicly available data, though where appropriate students are welcome to incorporate proprietary intelligence. Identify at least eight salient characteristics (is income relevant? educational attainment? is this community anchored in a single location or geographically dispersed?) and points of comparison (neighboring communities, for instance, in the case of a geographically-based community), and find data to quantify those characteristics.

Your final product will be a short report that describes the community in numbers and puts those numbers in context.

What am I looking for in a pitch?

Pitches: A complete pitch should tell me who cares, why we care now, and what pre-reporting you’ve done. You must include: a proposed title or headline a slug – up to three words that capture the essence of your profile a list of the defining characteristics of this community For your community profile: propose at least ten data points you’d like to work with and explain why each is relevant.

Start organizing your data.

Create a Github gist of your pitch (Public or Secret is up to you) and post it to the assignments document. Follow my format. If you decide to use Markdown to format your document, be sure the name has a .md extension.

Software and Accounts

Make sure Open Refine is installed on your computer.

Create an account on Git Hub and send me your handle.

Sign up for your CartoDB Academy plan. Start at http://cartodb.com/industries/education-and-research/ and select the “Free” plan from the options at the bottom of the page. That will take you to https://cartodb.com/signup?plan=academy to sign up. That should get you the plan you need for our purposes. Be sure to use your @journalism.cuny.edu address!

CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

© Spring 2015 Amanda Hickman