Democratising data journalism with the Miso project

Irene Ros (Bocoup), Alastair Dant (Guardian News and Media), Alex Graul (Guardian News & Media)
Visualization & Interface
Location: Buckingham Room
Average rating: *****
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Many of the tools that exist for visualising data are inflexible. Proprietary services lock away data and code. Single minded libraries fail to integrate well with others. The lack of a common methodology makes it hard to share work and thus difficult to learn by example.

The Miso project is a open source initiative undertaken by the Guardian in collaboration with Bocoup to produce a set of javascript libraries that make it easier to rapidly assemble sophisticated data visualization and interactive storytelling content. Miso hopes to help newsrooms focus on interactive content creation rather than technological hurdles and to foster a collaborative culture across a wider community.

Photo of Irene Ros

Irene Ros

Bocoup

Irene Ros is an engineer and artist from Cambridge, MA. Her work focuses on designing and building engaging visualizations and user interfaces using web technologies. Her artwork focuses on the intersection of humanity and technology. Recently her work has been written about in the New York Times and the New York Times Open Blog, as well as Fast Company.

Irene is the creator of NYTWrites, a visualization tool that explores The New York Times authorship. She is also the co-creators of Many Bills, a visualization of congressional legislation aimed at lowering the barrier between the U.S legislative process and citizens. Many Bills combines Visualization techniques with Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval to offer varying amounts of detail to users. Irene is also one of the developers on the Many Eyes project, a collaborative visualization tool that allows users to gather data, visualize it and discuss their visualizations on and off the site. She was also a part of the effort to launch The New York Times Visualization Lab, a derivative of Many Eyes. Irene also explored MBTA usage patterns in her visualization of A Day of MBTA.

Irene Ros is currently a Senior Programmer at Bocoup and has been collaborating with The Guardian on the development of the Miso Project.

Alastair Dant

Guardian News and Media

Alastair Dant, Lead Interactive Technologist – Guardian News & Media

Since joining the Guardian, Alastair has played games with the UK budget, created one of Steve Jobs’ favourite iPad apps, visualised the Wikileaks war logs and played ball with Twitter.

This builds on two decades of tinkering, encompassing early experiments with BASIC, architecting popular kids games and assembling art pieces like the Folk Songs Project.

Having won a few awards for his Guardian work, he’s recently been given the chance to build a small team aimed at pushing the boundaries of interactive news development. This has led to a series of talks and workshops in Europe and the US.

Alex Graul

Guardian News & Media

Since finishing a BA in Information Design Alex has always worked at the intersection of design & development working to create data visualisation and interactive content for finance, advertising and media. At the Guardian he has been working to move interactive content development from Flash to open standards that work across desktop, tablet & mobile. Alex is the co-lead developer of the Miso Project.

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