- Source — An index of news developer source code, code walkthroughs and project breakdowns from journalist-coders.
- School of Data — Online tutorials for working with data.
- The Data Journalism Handbook — Reference book about how to use data to improve the news authored by 70 data journalism practitioners and advocates.
- Open Refine — For data cleaning.
- Gephi — For graph visualizations.
- Hashtagify — Visualization of Twitter hashtags related to a particular #tag.
- Investigative Dashboard — Methodologies, resources and links for journalists to track money, shareholders and company ownership across international borders.
- Tabula — Open-source application that allows users to upload PDFs and extract the data in them in CSV format.
- Topsy — Social media analysis tool mentioned in panel on covering emergencies.
- DataSift — Mentioned in panel on covering emergencies.
- Storyful — The social media Newswire for Newsrooms
- GeoFeedia — Search and monitor social media by location.
- Spokeo — “Spokeo is a people search engine that organizes White-pages listings, Public Records and Social Network Information to help you safely find & learn about people.”
- The Tor project — Useful in environments likely to suffer from censorship. Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.
TweetDeck aims to improve the existing functionality of Twitter by taking the abundance of Twitter feeds and breaking it down into more manageable bite-sized pieces.
TwitPic lets you share photos on Twitter. You can post pictures to TwitPic from your phone, the TwitPic home page or your Twitter account.
This app allows you to post Tweets at a later time and date.
This website is constantly being updated to allow you to find the most popular Twitter users. Want to be on the list? Twitter constantly.
See trends on Twitter; find out what’s hot and what people are saying about it.
Qwitter: Catching Twitter quitters
Qwitter emails you when someone stops following you on Twitter.
- QuikMaps-build your own embeddable interactive map
- Google Mapmaker -build your own map and see it in streetview
A real-time geographic visualization of tweets. Amazing.
Similar to Twittervision (above) but with a sleeker interface.
- Cached Links View a snapshot of each page as it looked when Google indexed it-great for finding sites that no longer exist.
- Calculator Use Google to do math expressions.
- Definitions Use Google to get glossary definitions gathered from various online sources.
- GoogleAlert.com The site then runs daily Google searches for you and e-mails you the results. The first e-mail includes up to 50 results from Google, many of which you’ve probably seen before. But after that, the e-mails only include new results that have not appeared before. That’s the truly useful part.
- Google Date Google Date lets you enter a date and then searches using Google for what happened on that date and shows three results. Since Google isn’t very good at sorting documents for relevance when it comes to dates, it usually doesn’t give you a list of big events, but of the things happening in the lives of random people.
- Google History Use Google to find out in what year something happened. This works for events between 1800 and now.
- Google Questions Ask a question and Google tries to figure out the answer you are looking for. Such as “Who was Abe Lincoln?”
- Google hotel finder-maps and prices instantly
- BlogTalkRadio-start your own free online radio station
- Livestream-start your own free online video broadcast
- QIK-Live video from your phone to another or to the web
Tools to Find Stuff/People/Places
- http://www.archive.org/ Find a website that has been offline for years-or how can I find out what a website looked like on a certain date? This site has logged 85-billion pages (yes, you read it right-Billion) going back to 1996. It is the only site of its kind.
- http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/ Find the Hidden subdirectories of any url
- http://www.searchsystems.net/ Easy to find state and national links to over 38,000 searchable public records databases Use this site to look up licenses for doctors, lawyers, dentists, lawn care companies, Psychologists you name it. This is a gold mine!
- http://www.statelocalgov.net/index.cfm State and Local Government Website Index Perhaps the most comprehensive online directory to government websites, this index provides the user with links to every department website imaginable for each level of government. The user is brought one step closer to the public records sought by being connected with the appropriate government agency, from statewide offices to the smallest branch of a city or township.
- What Licenses do States require of any given profession or occupation? Enter by profession or by state http://www.acinet.org/acinet/lois_start.asp?soccode=&stfips=
- http://indorgs.virginia.edu/portico/personalproperty.html Property Tax records for any county in the United States. See who owns what property and how much tax they paid. You can also learn about renovations, additions and basic mortgage lien information on any property.
- http://www.zillow.com/ Look up the estimated value of any property (Note, plenty of people have arguments with Zillow’s estimates.)
- http://www.schoolmatters.com/ Search records for every public school in every state in America.
- Find backgrounds on millions of individuals-free : http://networking5.zoominfo.com/PeopleSearch/AdvancedSearch.asp?nlb=4%2F13%2F2005+8%3A05%3A54+PM
- By far the most complete free phone, address and people search tool because it uses many engines at once. Requires a free download. http://www.argali.com/
- A new people finding search engine that claims to have indexed 180 million names already. http://www.spock.com/
- http://wink.com/ A name search engine—includes a nifty tool that lets you set your search around areas.
- http://pipl.com/ A people finding search engine searches “deep web” including SEC files, social networks, Amazon, Flickr and more.
- http://www.whonu.com/pretty good at crawling social sites
- NEW Searches Facebook, MySpace, Linkedin and more social networks for names http://yoname.com/
- Zabasearch.com Another people finding software. The basic search is free, deeper searches cost $20-$100 http://www.zabasearch.com/
- http://www.peoplefinders.com/ shows relatives, ages, cities. Deep searches are fairly cheap ala cart.
- http://www.everyzing.com/index.jsp?il=en Searches for audio and or video online
- Find a person in the US or Canada. My favorite is http://www.infospace.com
Let’s say you want to know more about this person but don’t want to call them yet—maybe you could call a neighbor. Under the “look up addresses” box, enter in the person’s street without his/her house number and you will get all addresses and phone numbers on the street. Choose the ones nearest your target. also try: http://whitepages.com/ and try http://www.anywho.com/
- You have a phone number-who does it belong to? http://www.anywho.com/rl.html
- Find a person or business’ phone number http://www.switchboard.com/
- Find the number for a pay phone somewhere in the world http://www.payphone-project.com/
- Zip Code lookup and address information http://www.usps.gov/ncsc
- WhoWhere http://www.whowhere.lycos.com
- Is that person dead? A place to look. They also list names of people who have been reported to be dead, but are ALIVE http://www.dpsinfo.com/dps/index.html
- Look up death records by social security records http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/vital/ssdi/main.htm
- Biographies of famous people. This dictionary covers more than 28,000 notable men and women who have shaped our world from ancient times to the present day. http://www.s9.com/biography/
- http://politicalgraveyard.com/ thumbnail IDs of long-ago politicians
- Find a person in state, local or federal government office http://www.whowhere.lycos.com/Govt/main.htmlOfficials in every county government in every county in the United States http://www.naco.org/counties/counties/index.cfm?CFID=265389&CFTOKEN=24197800
Business and Company Information
- Annual Reports for Investors (http://www.annualreports.com): Annual reports are accessible in their original formats. The user can search by company name, ticker symbol, industry, or sector. There is also an alphabetical index of all companies providing reports. All reports are free, and no registration is required.
- BRB Publications Free Resource Center (http://www.brbpub.com/pubrecsites.asp): More than just a directory to free public records searching, the Free Resource Center also provides links to articles to assist users in public record searches. In addition, the “Public Record Newsroom” lists current items in the news relating to public records of all types.
- Lists of every known professional and business association in America http://en-av.besthotels.com/org/alpha/list-alphai_10.html
- Construction Weblinks: Public Records (http://www.constructionweblinks.com/Industry_Topics/Public_Records/public_records.html): This is a directory of mostly free websites to help the user learn different types of information about specific companies in the United States. Websites are arranged alphabetically and include bankruptcy data, earnings reports, pending litigation, and license suspensions.
- Pretrieve (http://www.pretrieve.com): This resource serves as a gateway to services on hundreds of websites that provide public records free of charge. Searches can be conducted by personal name, business name, address, or telephone number. For businesses, it provides financial, legal, trade-related, and research records, many as scanned images of originals. The user can view property records and even satellite imagery of both business and residential properties.
- Who Exports What to Where (state by state) TradeStats allows you to see what each state exports and to whom they ship the stuff. Pick your state, pick a product and click the start button. The site is presented by the Office of Trade and Industry Information (OTII), Manufacturing and Services, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.
- Public Records Finder (http://www.publicrecordsfinder.com): Both business and personal public records are indexed in this comprehensive database. Nationwide searching is available, broken down by categories including business records, corporate tax forms, legal research resources, and professional licensing information.
- Search SEC and business filings using the new Hoovers site: http://www.hoovers.com/free/
- National Association of Secretaries of State: Corporate Backgrounders good for researching businesses
- Find a business near this address-great for breaking news: http://www.infospace.com/info/neighbor.html
- Find a toll free number for a person or business http://www.anywho.com/tf.html
- Internet Address Finder – E-mail Directory http://www.iaf.net
- Area code listing, by number http://www.bennetyee.org/ucsd-pages/area.html
- Who is influencing my Congressman? www.fec.gov run by the federal election commission. You can search individual contributors, individual candidates or races. http://www.opensecrets.org-nonprofit/non-partisan site-crunches Federal Election commission figures to show you who is giving and receiving what from whom. Put in your zip code and find out who is donating to the presidential campaign.
- State contributions-state races– http://www.followthemoney.org/
- State Lawmaker’s Personal Financial Disclosures Online The Center for Public Integrity has collected and posted the new personal disclosures for state legislators in America.
- The center has a page that allows you to search by name, zip code, or you can put in a name of a company or organization and see which lawmakers are linked to that name. It would be especially interesting if, for example, a company landed a big contract and you wanted to know who has ties to them. You can also search by industry to see which lawmakers have interests in what business.
- 527’s-the silent Power in Elections. See who is really paying for the campaigns that spend hundreds of millions of dollars in races. http://www.publicintegrity.org/527/
- Who is giving what to whom in power—Politicalmoneyline-even has a search engine to investigate donors by name. Enter a zip code and you can find out who in that zip code donated to federal elections. This site is the site that monitors every move at the Federal Election Commission. http://www.tray.com/fecinfo/
- Fundrace 2004 Neighbor Search-easy to use and fun –includes a mapping program by city. http://www.fundrace.org/neighbors.php
- www.vote-smart.org -a nonprofit/non-partisan group- details how congressmen vote on bills and issues. Now they are tracking platform positions taken by candidates on state and federal levels. You can also track legislation-extremely useful site.
- FactCheck.org helps to fact check candidates, parties and election ads nationwide. http://www.factcheck.org/default.html
- GovTrack follows your elected federal officials, tracks legislation and is RSS ready to update you on whatever you want. http://www.govtrack.us/
- Congress.Org Includes issue positions of Presidential candidates, state information on voter registration and upcoming elections, and links to Congressional races by state, with background information available on Congressional voting records.
- Electionline includes a reference guide to laws and regulations, and state and local election administration, as well as commentary on best practices and areas for electoral reform.
- Green Papers Facts, figures, tidbits and commentary on the U.S. election campaigns
- Politics1 Links to all aspects of elections http://www.politics1.com
Polls Online-public opinion and surveys from Gallup, news organizations and Pew http://www.people-press.org/otherpolls/
- PollingReport-tracks all sorts of new polls constantly http://www.pollingreport.com/
Charities and Non-Profits
Charity Check-you need to know where all the money is going-every charity that takes in $25K has to file an I-990 form. They are the mother lode of information and they are open for your inspection. Go to your local charitable solicitations board, your secretary of state or, now, online to see these forms. A great new site www.guidestar.com has almost a million of these forms on file. They are constantly being updated and soon will include millions of I-990 forms. (Hint-when looking for a specific charity, put the name in quotes.)
Charity Navigator rates charities and non-profits. http://www.charitynavigator.org/
Foundation Giving by state and year –a list from The Foundation Center
Network for Good — which is powered by the Guidestar database includes financial snapshots
The American Institute of Philanthropy is a “Charity Watchdog” that offers a rating guide to roughly 500 charitable organizations to its donors. However, a list of the top-rated charities is available for free online.
The IRS provides a page of links to information about state agencies that regulate charities and other non-profits. For example, the Florida Division of Consumer Services offers a database that contains “financial summaries of charitable organizations which are registered with the State of Florida.”
For tax information, IRS Publication 526 covers charitable contributions.
Who Owns that Website? Search the ownership of any website in the world. Try this site called allwhois.com.
- Also, try http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois
Also try http://www.samspade.org/t if all you have is an ISP number, can trace backward to identify the user. Very useful in decoding who is posting to a listserv or bulletin board.
- VisualRoute Tracker– this is a for pay service that will backtrack who owns a website and who owns a serve hosting it. For serious investigative projects like tracking child porn or fraud.
WatchThatPage.com is a service that enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and WatchThatPage will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is presented to you in an email and/or a personal web page.
Unravel IP addresses, host or name servers to figure out who is writing or hosting what. This is a one-stop shopping center. http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_eco_aid_don_percap-economic-aid-donor-per-capita the world in statistics
Product Safety Recall site by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Alerts are listed as soon as they are announced by the federal government. www.Recalls.gov. Includes downloadable video and interviews.
Social Security Death Records
Find out the basics about any city or town http://www.citytowninfo.com/
Census.gov vital facts– quick click for basic facts on any city, state or county http://www.census.gov
FactFinder is the Census’ site that helps you get microspecific data, even map it. It is very easy to use. http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en
SECinfo.com It is a free site that monitors Security and Exchange Commission filings. The site will even send you an email when the company you are tracking files something new. Fantastic.
Read the EPA drinking water inspections in every water district in America. http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/index.html
Who is release toxic stuff in your community? EPA has an easy to use tracking site. You can watch toxins, water, air pollution, land (dumping) and more. Just plug in a zip code, city, or state. http://www.epa.gov/enviro/index.html
Online Polls–from political to topical polls, this site finds them and posts them daily http://www.pollingreport.com/
Tracking News Fast
1stHeadlines.com-a great journalism site. http://www.1stheadlines.com is a fast and easy to load site that summarizes the leading headlines for hundreds of newspapers and online news sites around the world.
Create your own news page with MyYahoo and RSS feeds. You can select from more than 150,000 websites and then arrange them on your page. The RSS feeds are constantly updated. If you do not want to use MyYahoo, consider an RSS directories/display tools such as onfolio 2.0 or Feedster. Feedster indexes over 1 million syndicated sources and adds approximately 5,000 new feeds daily. This includes over 50,000 professionally published sources such as the New York Times, BBC, CNET, IDG, and Wired. Feedster also also continually monitors the leading weblog change notification sites such as www.blo.gs, and others to make certain that the information from the blogosphere is as timely as possible.