kdmc data visualization tutorials

KDMC produces a wealth of digital media tutorials to support our training sessions and classes. While the focus of some tutorials is on technology and journalism, most are general enough to be of use to anyone.

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This tutorial covers the basics of creating and doing calculations with a spreadsheet. It is based on using Google Docs spreadsheets, with notes on some differences with Excel spreadsheets.

Protovis Part 4: External data and animated labels

Learn to how to load data into your Protovis charts from an external file and learn new tricks to animate bars and labels simultaneously.

QGIS basics for Journalists

QGIS is a free, open source GIS application that works on most major operating systems. It's a great starting point for journalists who want to explore data with maps. This tutorial will guide you through the basics and give you the tools to make quick interactive data maps that work on every platform.

Data Visualization: Basics

Interactive graphics give your content context and impact. Learn how to use Google Gadgets to create charts that you can embed in your site. Google Gadgets are free.

Build an Interactive Census Map

Step-by-step guide to using geocommons.com to make a an interactive census map. Created by Len De Groot for the Knight Digital Media Center.

Databases of Statistical Information

This is a directory of online databases of demographic and other statistical information that are publicly available on the web. The directory is organized topically, and includes database with national, state and local information, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Protovis Part 5: Swap external data

Learn to how to swap external data files and some techniques to improve animate with small objects like lines.

Protovis Part 3: Variables and animation

Variables allow you to make easy-to-update data visualization templates that you can post in minutes. Plus learn simple animation.

Protovis JavaScript Charts: Part 1

The Protovis JavaScript Library takes care of the difficult programming so you spend less time writing code and more time visualizing data. This tutorial is designed for beginners with little or no JavaScript experience.

Protovis compatibility in Internet Explorer

Protovis is a terrific tool that works well in modern browsers. But it does have some compatibility problems with Internet Explorer 6-8. We'll look at some methods to make your Protovis graphics work in every browser type.

Use Google Refine to Export JSON

Google refine is great at cleaning large sets of data. But one amazing under-documented feature is the ability to design and output JSON files.  With Google Refine, you can turn a simple spreadsheet into a straight forward JSON datasets or multidimensional arrays quickly and easily.

Protovis Templates

Our customizable templates will help you produce interactive JavaScript charts in minutes.

Intro to cleaning data

Understanding how to clean data is an important skill every reporter needs. Learn how spreadsheets work, basic data-cleaning workflow and how to use formulas and functions.

FreeDive tips and tricks

Get the most out of freeDive searchable databases.

Storytelling Apps and Tools

There are many free applications and online tools journalists can use to make different types of stories, from interactives and graphics to data visualiztions and maps. These are links to many of the most useful and popular ones and tutorials on how to use them.

Protovis Part 2: Lines and Labels

Tick marks and labels make charts easier to comprehend. Here's how to add them to Protovis JavaScript charts.

Data Visualization Links and Resources

Additional reading, related software, training and more.