Nordic Newshacker

The excellent people at the Danish newspaper Information are hosting a competition to promote data journalism. It’s called “Nordisk Nyhedshacker 2012“. Data journalism was what I spent some of my time at Ekstra Bladet doing, and the organizers have been kind enough to put me on the jury. The winner will get a scholarship to go work at The Guardian for a month, sponsored by Google. Frankly, I’d prefer working at Information, but I guess The Guardian will do. If you’re a journalist that can hack or if you’re hacker interested in using your craft to make people more informed about the world we live in, you should use this opportunity to come up with something interesting and be recognized for it.

Hopefully, you already have awesome ideas for what to build. Should you need some inspiration, here a few interesting pieces of data you might want to consider (projects using this data will not be judged differently than others).

  • Examine the US Embassy Cables released by Wikileaks. I’ve tried to filter out the ones related to Denmark.
  • Examine the power relationships of members of Danish business leader groups. I have extracted the membership info from their web site. It’d be extra interesting if you combine this information with data about who sits on the boards of big Danish companies, perhaps to make the beginnings of something like LittleSis so that we can keep track of what favours those in power are doing each other.
  • Do something interesting with the CVR database of Danish companies that was leaked on The Pirate Bay last year.
  • Ekstra Bladet has been kind enough to let me open source the code for the award-winning Krimikort (Crime Map) I built while working there. It’s not quite ready to be released yet, but we’re making the current data available now. There’s 62,753 nuggets of geo-located and categorised crime ready for you to look at. You can download a rar file (50 MB) here. To use the data, you have to get a free copy of SQL Server Express and mount the database (Google will tell you how).

I’m afraid I won’t be able be participate in many of the activities preceding the actual competition but I can’t wait to see what people come up with!

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