On a chilly Hong Kong night, not long before Christmas, about 20 hacks and hackers gathered in a busy bar to toast the first meeting of our local group. It was a casual, get-to-know-each-other type of meeting. The vibe was buzzing as a bunch of print, broadcast and multimedia journalists met with designers, programmers and a few students from HKU’s journalism school. People expressed excitement and enthusiasm to get the group up and running, and to more drinks in the name of data driven journalism.Tags: Hong Kong
Tonight was the second edition of Hacks/Hackers Zurich #HHZrh. That means 2h30 in a train for me. Twice. So why?Tags: beer, berlin, hackers, hacks, Hacks/Hackers Zurich, learn, lokaler, lorenz matzat, meet, opendatacity, re:publica, stickers, Zurich
La red global que trabaja por el futuro del periodismo encontró su nicho en Asunción, la capital de Paraguay, desde mayo de este año. Con el apoyo y el interés de desarrolladores Web, diseñadores, periodistas, comunicadores, y profesionales de diversas disciplinas, Hacks/Hackers Asu ha iniciado sus primeras actividades con miras a crear una comunidad activa de innovadores dispuestos a romper esquemas tradicionales y llevar el periodismo a un nuevo nivel.
Unos talleres introductorios con periodistas han sido el punto de partida del grupo local para socializar el concepto de periodismo de datos &mdash un concepto relativamente nuevo en el país — y para hablar sobre las implicancias de esta rama emergente en la profesión. Los diarios ABC Color y Ultima Hora, los más conocidos en el ámbito, y el periódico digital Ea, fueron los primeros medios que expresaron interés. En los talleres se abarcaron temas como la evolución del periodismo a través de los años, la definición y la importancia de los datos abiertos y las oportunidades que ofrecen las nuevas herramientas digitales para narrar historias de forma distinta. También se presentaron experiencias emblemáticas de periodismo data, como las de The Guardian, el Washington Post y la Nación Data. Estos ejemplos sirvieron como disparadores de ideas para proyectos locales.
Los miembros impulsores del groupo local aprovecharon otros espacios como la radio y foros de discusión para hablar sobre Hacks/Hackers y vincular a más personas al emprendimiento. “Nos enteramos de la existencia de Hacks/Hackers en setiembre de 2012, en el lanzamiento del Libre Bus en el Media Party de Buenos Aires“, comenta Maricarmen Sequera — de la organización TEDIC e impulsora del groupo local HHAsu — a la revista La Factory al relatar sobre los inicios de HHAsu. En el mes de octubre, Jazmín Acuña, también miembro del grupo local, formó parte del panel “Los desafíos para el periodismo en la era open data“, liderado por los maestros del periodismo Daniel Santoro del diario Clarín de Argentina y Carlos Huertas de Connectas.
En este panel, organizado por el Foro de Periodistas del Paraguay, el ICTJ y Connectas, los temas principales de discusión giraron en torno a las limitaciones y los avances logrados con respecto al acceso a información pública, y el rol de los periodistas en el tema. Acuña aprovechó la oportunidad para enfatizar la importancia que los periodistas se capaciten y actualicen constantemente en el uso y manejo de herramientas digitales para procesar grandes flujos de información. “Hacer periodismo de datos no es una opción. Es una necesidad“, afirmó.
A futuro, el grupo local tiene previsto continuar con varias actividades para ampliar y afianzar la comunidad HHAsu, que hasta el momento ya tiene más de 50 miembros inscriptos en el Meetup. Continuarán los talleres introductorios para periodistas y se iniciarán unos talleres avanzados para aprender a utilizar herramientas disponibles que faciliten el manejo y la visualización de datos. Se llevarán a cabo encuentros de trabajo para diseñar proyectos entre periodistas y desarrolladores. Por último, el grupo local se prepara desde ya para Futuromedia 2014, el primer gran evento de periodismo data en Asunción con la presencia de referentes internacionales – evento con el que esperamos marcar un hito en la escena local.No tags for this post.
The global network that works for the future of journalism has found its niche in Asunción, Paraguay’s capital, since May of this year. With the support and enthusiasm of Web developers, designers, journalists, communicators, and professionals from different fields, Hacks/Hackers Asunción has launched its first activities eager to build an active community of innovators ready to take journalism to the next level.
In order to spread the concept of data journalism — relatively new in Paraguay — and to discuss the implications of this emerging field, a number of introductory workshops with journalists have marked the initial stages of Hacks/Hackers Asunción. ABC Color and Ultima Hora, two of the most well known newspapers in the country, and the digital news site Ea, were the first to receive members of HHAsu for the workshops. The presentations and discussions centered around the evolution of journalism through the years, the definition and the relevance of open data in our daily lives, and the opportunities that digital tools offer to journalists to amplify the impact of a story. Cases from the The Guardian, The Washington Post and La Nación Data served to exemplify the kind work that can be done in Paraguay and motivated brainstorming sessions for future projects.
Members of the local group have also been to radio shows and discussion panels to talk about Hacks/Hackers and to invite more people into the initiative. “We found out about Hacks/Hackers in September 2012, at the Media Party in Buenos Aires“, says Maricarmen Sequera (@marsebu), a member of HHAsu and the civic-tech NGO TEDIC, in an interview for La Factory magazine. In October, Jazmín Acuña (@simonajaz), also a member of the local group, was part of the panel “The challenges of journalism in the open data era“, led by Daniel Santoro from Argentina’s Clarín and Carlos Huertas from Connectas.
At the panel, organized by the Foro de Periodistas del Paraguay (FOPEP), the International Center for Journalists and Connectas, speakers discussed about the limitations and the advances in the struggle to access public information and the role of journalists in this context. Acuña emphasized that training is key to process large flows of public data. “Data journalism is not an option. It’s a necessity“, she expressed.
In the future, Hacks/Hackers Asunción will continue engaging people with more activities to expand and strengthen the HHAsu community, which already has more than 50 members. In the short run, the introductory workshops for journalists will keep on, while members of the local group are already preparing a set of advanced courses for those interested in learning how to use digital tools. Also, through a number of informal gatherings between journalists and developers, we expect to render some projects. Last but not least, HHAsu is preparing the ground for Futuromedia 2014, the first international event in Asunción on data journalism upcoming next year.No tags for this post.
From Dec. 7-8, 2013, activists, journalists, researchers, and coders met up at 91springboard in New Delhi to look at data about women’s rights in India, and find ways to create apps and multimedia stories that talked about women’s experiences in ways they hadn’t been talked about before.
Our five teams looked at diverse data. Below, what they worked on.
The homepage of their project: [AudioGroup]
One group picked up audio data from the rural mobile social network company, Gram Vaani — in which women from outlying towns and villages recorded audio clips about their experiences with early marriage (before the age of 18). They created a digital magazine-style scrolling story that incorporated these multilingual clips.
Another group focused on how to use documentary film footage to explore the rights of Dalit — untouchable — women, whose legal rights are often disregarded and whose rates of assault and rape are higher than the national average. Because crimes against Dalit women are often not recorded, their voices rarely make it into the national dialogue about violence against women.
Group Three looked at collaborative media, and in particular how stories about violence against women and about women activists get represented in online sources like Wikipedia. The group visualized landmark cases related to women’s rights, and worked on correcting and creating articles. For example, they worked on the article related to the recent Muzaffarnagar religious riots in northern India, adding information about crimes against women (this information had been missing before).
A Twitter-focused group built a real-time Twitter tracker to find and track misogynistic language in Tweets. They crowd-sourced a list of terms that were derogatory to women, built a tool to find those words, and then built a visualization interface that reflected real-time the amount of harassment against women that existed on social media. They also built an auto-reply bot that would automatically reply to misogynistic Tweets, flagging them to the user and asking for politer language.
Finally, one group used crowd-sourced women’s safety reports from the Whypoll Foundation (accounts of self-reported street harassment, collected and categorized on Ushahidi) and created two videos to document the dramatic experience of daily harassment that Indian women face. They also created an app that syncs with the Whypoll/SafeCity map, to ease the process of reporting street violence and harassment.
Read our event blog on the site. You can read about the groups, the projects, our media partners and our sponsors. The event was co-organized by Hacks/Hackers New Delhi and Breakthrough, a nonprofit that uses media and technology to spread messages about violence against women. Videos of the final presentations are here, and you can meet the groups and walk around our event space in this great multimedia project by Raj Zaveri of Firefly Multimedia.No tags for this post.
On Wednesday, Nov. 27, Hacks/Hackers Zurich kicked off as the first local Hacks/Hackers group in Switzerland. Sixteen people of various backgrounds met at Maison Blunt, a tearoom in Zurich’s lively quarter of «Kreis 5». The plan for this first meetup was to get to know each other, understand our experience and expectations, and to collect ideas for building this small community from the ground up. We want to make Hacks/Hackers Zurich the right place to connect journalism to technology, ideas to capabilities and, most importantly, people to people.
A few notes that we took with us from this pleasant evening with friends and fellows:
(i) A meetup like this does not only attract Hacks and Hackers but also hybrids, which we’re calling Hacksters, thanks to a suggestion by Hannes Gassert.
(ii) For the second Hacks/Hackers Zurich meeting, we’d like to touch base more closely with the Swiss journalism community. One of our main goals is to gain insights from the various newsrooms and learn how teams at different media houses combine journalism with data and technology in the digital age.
(iii) Currently, there seem to be significant shifts in the journalistic field. One example has been the start of Watson in January. We believe that it’s our duty to feel the pulse of the community and engage key players actively in our meetup.
(iiii) Last but not least, we’ll definitely shake-up the format to keep things interesting and different every time we meet — changing the place, time, format and of course, the mix of people as Hacks/Hackers Zurich grows. A small selection of the things we have in mind include showcases of successful projects; core conversations with field experts; talks and lectures by established practitioners; and visits to newsrooms, studios and labs where new concepts are born.hackers, hacks, Hacks/Hackers Zurich
Hacks and Hackers crammed into the intimate surroundings of the Library Bar at the Central Hotel in Dublin city centre for the rebooted of Hacks/Hackers Dublin on September 16th. The enthusiastic crowd were joined by some international guests – Andy Carvin of NPR who is famous for his unique methods of covering the news on Twitter and Amanda Michel of The Guardian (US) – fresh from a media conference at Dublin City University, as well as representatives from local media companies The Irish Times, thejournal.ie and Storyful.
The evening was kicked-off with a welcome talk from the group organiser, Dr. Bahareh Heravi, who heads up the Digital Humanities and Journalism group at Insight, NUI Galway. She then introduced Paul Watson, CTO of Storyful, the leading social news agency based in Dublin, who gave a brief presentation of the Storyful’s new ‘social search’ which is a Chrome plugin that allows users search for news across multiple social media platforms.
Later attendees played an M&M game where players answered different questions such as ‘Where will the newsroom be in 5 years time’ or ‘As a Hack, a Hacker can teach me X’ depending on which colour chocolate they picked from a bowl. Attendees were enthusiastic and came up with some great ideas, the creative juices seemingly lubricated by the alcohol from the bar. The idea of hosting a hackathon proved popular and Hacks/Hackers Dublin hopes to organise an event sometime in 2014.
Overall the evening was a great success with organisers and attendees determined to revive the Dublin chapter of Hacks/Hackers. HuJo promises to hold another event before Christmas and by the end of the night had already received offers from a few parties to host a more extensive meeting possibly including some workshops. Thanks to everyone who attended and we hope to see you at the second event on December 9th. Sign up to attend.No tags for this post.
Hello everyone! We’d like to announce the launch of Hacks/Hackers Zurich — a chance to get to know fellow hacks and hackers in an informal setting and plan out possibilities for future meet-ups! This first Swiss chapter is launched with the support of Laurian Gridinoc (@gridinoc), Sylke Gruhnwald (@SylkeGruhnwald) and Benjamin Wiederkehr (@datavis). We are busy preparing the first event scheduled sometime during the month of November. Please join in the ride and share your thoughts and ideas with us.
We are looking forward to meeting up with you! Join us to hear about upcoming event announcements.No tags for this post.
[Guest post by Dave Riordan, Product Manager, NYPL Labs]
Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting and speaking at the incredible Hacks/Hackers NYC meetup, a collective of some of the most talented and interesting folks in New York with a bent toward building a better-informed citizenry through journalism, technology and design. They welcomed us and we fit right in.
Rather than have myself and Ben Vershbow do our traditional dog-and-pony show (that poor, poor pony), the entire Labs team got up on stage to share some of our most interesting projects and technical investigations, several of which were shown for the first time.
Ben Vershbow, Labs’ founder and manager covered the philosophy and history of Labs, along with 4 of our projects:
- NYPL Historical Geospatial Program, including the Map Warper, which transforms pictures of old maps into actionable geospatial data, the NYC Chronology of Place, our historical gazetteer for New York, and our Ghost Map prototype, which unifies historical city directories with historical maps.
- The Stereogranimator, which transforms vintage 3D photographs called stereographs into pseudo-3D wiggle-GIFs — mashing up vintage photography with vintage web – and real 3D anaglyphs.
- What’s on The Menu, where we put our historical restaurant and banquet menu collection online and ask volunteers to help turn them into a structured dataset of culinary and economic history (and the first official API from NYPL).
- DirectMe NYC: 1940, a rapid-response tool infused with the knowledge of our Milstein Division librarians we built to make the 1940 US Federal Census immediately usable by fusing old phonebooks with geneological tools, old maps, and NY Times headlines. In a fortuitous coincidence Zeehsan Lakhani, our developer emeritus behind the project, happened to be in the audience. And look: we found J.D. Salinger!
Paul Beaudoin, data scientist/oil painter, shared our prototype of Ensemble, a crowd-powered data mining app designed to transform our theatre program collection from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts into a dataset of historical performances and performers. He took us on a tour of parallel efforts in academia, newsrooms and citizen science, and discussed some of the challenges of figuring out how to extract information with a highly complex data model from documents with widely divergent layouts and templates. We also got to see a custom visualization of how many users come together on Ensemble to generate a consensus of what the materials accurately represent. Also see these two related citizen science projects from Zooniverse — with whom NYPL Labs is partnering, thanks to the NEH — to build an open source transcription engine that can make projects like oldweather.org and notesfromnature.org easier to set up.
Trevor Thornton and Matt Miller, the only members of Labs with actual Library degrees (they make the rest of us slackers look good), shared the approach they’re taking to designing NYPL’s brand spanking new Archives portal, where researchers can go to work with NYPL’s over 8,000 archival collections (unique, unpublished materials — ‘the papers of ’, ‘the records ’. First, Trevor Thornton gave a hilarious “everything you wanted to know about archives but didn’t know to ask” overview, then took us through a tour of the underlying systems that power the archives portal, much of which was designed to treat archival finding aids as data rather than simply as documents. Then he turned things over to Matt Miller to show off some of the cool new interfaces this approach makes possible. They queued up the Jack Kerouac collection, and showed off two hidden features, triggered via an ode to the console cheat codes of the ’80s:
- By typing “minime” on the Detailed Description, it brings up The Navigator, a Sublime Text-inspired pane that lets you navigate a finding aid based on the structure of the text.
- By typing “networksarecool” on the Detailed Description, it brings up a network analysis of the archival collection, creating a subject-driven network graph created by the archival arrangement.
Additionally, Matt showed off a new visualization of the entire NYPL Catalog based on Subject Headings, designed to allow spatial exploration of the library’s overall holdings; hopefully the first step toward creating new approaches that will make NYPL’s entire collections more approachable and navigable. As a bonus, check out another quick visualization Matt made (but didn’t have time to show): 1,001 full-text archival finding aids color-coded by average date of each collection’s components.
Brian Foo, our resident breakdancer/fine artist/Kickstarter-er extraordinaire, demoed the video juxtaposition / mashup tool he built for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the Library for the Performing Arts, which is basically a browser-based video editor powered by Mozilla’s Popcorn.js.
Due to rights restrictions, most of the collection can only be viewed while onsite at the Library for the Performing Arts. But we were able to juxtapose several multi-camera shots of ritual dance from Bhutan, then mashed it up with some fly moves and beats from The Jabbawockeez. And there wasn’t time to show it off onstage, much of the inspiration for the juxtaposition tool came from one of Brian’s own art works, Joyblaster, a series of video pieces where people’s personal stories are reconstructed from multi-frame YouTube videos. You can grab some of the code used to power the juxtaposition tool, namely the Brightcove player for Popcorn.js and several plugins for Video.js.
Mauricio Giraldo, our mad scientist interaction designer, took us on a tour through the insides of Teh Vectorizor, his groundbreaking tool that crunches our huge backlog of insanely detailed historical insurance maps — formerly turned into data via hand-crafted artisanal processes (which took 3 years to get through 3 boroughs) — into largely automagically generated data through a frankenscript of open source tools. But because it’s not perfect yet, he also showed off an early version of our map data improvement game, which we’re tentatively calling Polygonzo, a mobile game that lets people check the Vectorizer’s accuracy. Ultimately, we’d like to make this a mobile app that subway-dwelling New Yorkers can play offline, maybe give Angry Birds a run for their money. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a first release…
Finally, we had Dan Vanderkam. Dan’s a friend of Labs and the creator of Old SF, a site that lets you navigate the historical street photographs of San Fransisco from the SF Public Library. Dan demoed the upcoming Old New York project he’s been working on with 40,000+ street photographs from the Library’s Milstein Division of Local/U.S. History & Genealogy. He also covered his process for finding and liberating pictures from inside other pictures as many of the Milstein images are actually 2-3 pictures per image, making them normally too small to see in fine detail. Dan figured out a way to extract the pictures within pictures, and he helped us generate larger versions that we’ll hopefully be incorporating and will be available when Old New York launches later this year.
At the end, I put out a final call for everyone present to seek us out, share their ideas, their possible collaborations, their research questions. The mission of Labs and The Library is far too big for us to accomplish on our own and the hacker/researchers of today are going to be blazing the path for all of our users in the near future. It’s gonna be awesome.maps, New York Public Library, NYPL Labs, public participation, transcription, video
With more than 970 participants from three continents, the Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires Media Party became “the world’s largest event of Hacks/Hackers in the history of this organization”, according to Dan Sinker, director of Knight-Mozilla OpenNews, who came to the meetup. Held Aug. 29-31 in Ciudad Cultural Konex, Buenos Aires, the largest media festival in Latin America brought together journalists, software programmers and designers to work for the future of media.
In this second edition, over 30 international guests came to Buenos Aires. Among them, Jacqui Maher of The New York Times, Ryan Mark of Chicago Tribune, Joe Germuska and Miranda Mulligan from Knight Lab, and Brian Boyer from NPR. Winners of the Knight News Challenges were also in attendance, like Ted Han of DocumentCloud, Miguel Paz of Poderopedia, Shannon Dosemagen of Public Lab, Waldo Jaquit of The State Decoded, Nuno Vargas of the d.school, at Stanford University, and the entire Knight-Mozilla OpenNews team, consisting of eight software programmers working in major newspapers around the world and its director Dan Sinker.
The Knight Fellows from the International Center For Journalists, who are working on different projects in Latin America, also came to the Media Party along with ICFJ’s Vice President of Programs Patrick Butler. For the first time, seven representatives of Hacks/Hackers chapters in Africa attended, along with Knight Fellow Justin Arenstein. From Prague, Douglas Arellanes from Sourcefabric came to lead a workshop on Airtime. There were also participants from Hacks/Hackers Mexico, Paraguay and Argentine cities like Rosario and Mendoza. In addition, the winners of the Editors Lab (La Nación) had a space to display their prototype, along with Antoine Laurent from the Global Editors Network.
During the second edition of the Media Party, the Hacks/Hackers meetup reached 2,770 members and nearly 800 new registered members. The meeting had massive coverage in newspapers, websites, radio and television, reaching 150 articles published in various media, and was declared of “Interest” by the Argentine Senate. The Media Party was organized by Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires (HHBA), the local chapter of a global network that brings together journalists and programmers, which is led by Mariano Blejman, ICFJ Knight Fellow.
The agenda was intense: in the first two days international experts delivered keynotes on use cases ( “Too much information” by Jacqui Maher, or “If it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work” by Brian Boyer) and 50 simultaneous workshops taught by the same international guests along with local trainers. On the first day, attendees were able to visit the Media Fair, learning more about regional projects and meet their creators. Sixty innovative Latin American media projects were featured in the Media Fair, along with government portals and journalism startups.
The workshops featured international trainers such as Nuno Vargas, a Knight Fellow at Stanford who led a training on “Design thinking,” “Chicas Poderosas” by Mariana Santos and “D3 for beginners” by Ariel Aizemberg. During afternoon workshops, the attendees learned about the production of data journalism pieces, citizen journalism, news you can use and news applications based on open data projects in addition to media innovation and open government. Also two projects of regional impact were launched: OpenDataLatinoamerica.org, a data portal, and the Media Factory, a media accelerator that will invest $ 75,000 per company to help startups grow.
On the last day, Aug. 31, the event was crowned with a large and open hackathon where teams developed at least 12 innovative projects, including GlobalWamp, PDF Challenge and Hackatools. Closing the hackathon, the organizers announced the HacksLabs, an incubator for innovative projects in Latin America that will start donating US$20,000 in small microgrants financed by the World Bank Institute.
The HHBA Media Party was sponsored by Knight Mozilla OpenNews, the International Center For Journalists, the Knight Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, the World Bank Institute, Fundación Desarrollar Argentina, Sourcefabric, AreaTres, Globant, USLA, Eter, Fopea, Nxtp.Labs, Media Factory, Ami, Pinlatam, FNPI, Mazalan Comunicaciones, Wayra, Terra and Debajo Tierra.No tags for this post.