Category / Innovation

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  • Star series shines light on government travel spending

    Web scraping is a way to download large amounts of information from government websites for later analysis in a database. It is making possible stories that would be impossible for the causal hunt and click web surfer.
  • Getting great map data for free

    It used to be that you had to pay big dollars for GIS data. That’s changing quickly as more and more government agencies make their maps available at no charge.
  • Nova Scotia posts restaurant inspections online

    Nova Scotia is now posting the results of restaurant health inspections online.The new website allows anyone to search for inspections that have been done since July 10. Users can search by establishment name or address, by town or by…
  • Election night as teaching opportunity

    Election nights are great for journalism, but they turn out to be great for journalism instructors as well. Second-year students at the University of King’s College covered the October 14, 2008 election live as a class project. CAR contributing editor…
  • Digging for the real story in the election results

    The Conservatives won the October 14 election, gaining what one writer called a “muscular majority.” But did they win, or the Liberals lose? A spreadsheet can help figure it out.
  • Edmonton posts restaurant inspections July 1, 2008

    Capital Health officially launches its new restaurant inspection website on Canada Day, 2008. The agency is responsible for health care in the Edmonton area and inspects more than 8,000 restaurants and other health premises.
  • Everyone’s talking tech: investigative journo conference

    More than 800 journalists from 40 countries around the world wrapped up an intense three days of panels and partying in Miami Saturday June 7. One of the most interesting threads that ran through the annual meeting of Investigative Reporters…
  • Watch your step on the data ladder

    Climbing the data ladder can be dangerous. That was one of the messages delivered Thursday June 5 at the annual conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors in Miami. David Donald of IRE/NICAR and Jennifer LaFleur of the Dallas Morning News…
  • Be ready when the next quake hits

    Reporters looking for the Canadian context for events such as the devastating Sichuan earthquake can turn to the Natural Resources earthquake database for basic details on every known earthquake in Canada since the 1600s. You can contact NRCCan to obtain…
  • Citizen investigation finds faulty gas pumps

    An Ottawa Citiizen investigation has found about 1 in 20 gas pumps in Canada was pumping less gas than indicated on the readout when inspected. Citizen reporter Glen McGregor obtained Measurement Canada inspection data under the Access to Information Act.…