May - June Roundup: Thoughts and tools for & from the data practitioners

Stories and thoughts

Fully Loaded: Inside the shadowy world of America’s 10 biggest gunmakers: Meet the moguls making a killing from gun sales in the USA


“Their obscurity would seem unremarkable if we were talking about the biggest manufacturers of auto accessories or heating systems. But these are America's top gunmakers—leaders of the nation's most controversial industry” (Mother Jones).

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Thoughts on open data

Corruption affects all, but it affects disadvantaged women the worst: Hera Hussain (OpenCorporates, Chayn) and Mor Rubinstein reflect on how open technology can play a part in changing that.

Follow the Money: How Open Data and Investigative Journalism Can Beat Corruption: How do we stop criminal gangs and the corrupt politicians they rely on – conducting business as usual? Paul Radu states that first, through data and secondly, by journalists using advanced investigative techniques.

Open Data Movement Reaches Turning Point: "Open data initiatives cannot be effective if not supported by a culture of openness where citizens are encouraged to ask questions and engage."


Thoughts on collaboration

How Chicas Poderosas is spreading its message of empowering women innovators in newsrooms: Chicas Poderosas seeks to help move women into the vanguard of innovation in newsrooms, providing training and support to help them move into leadership roles.

International political finance activists find areas of common concern in Prague meeting: The meeting gave attendees the opportunity to discuss issues facing advocates for political transparency in a setting that encouraged sharing of experiences and comparing of challenges.

Engines of change: What civic tech can learn from social movements: We believe that better understanding the essential components of movements, and observing the ways in which civic tech does nor does not behave like one, can yield insights on how we as a civic tech community can collectively drive the sector forward.




Candidatos y Millones (Candidates and Millions) or #FondosdePapel, is a platform developed by Ojo Público that analyzes ten years of private financing of election campaigns in Peru. The investigation is currently a finalist in two categories of the Data Journalism Awards.




The Influence Mapping Group recently launched two projects: Influence Mapping beta & Oligrapher 2. The Influence Mapping Toolbox, a resource developed by the iilab team which will help both newcomers and experienced mappers get started, learn and achieve their influence mapping goals. Oligrapher 2, a follow-on to the visual network exploration tool developed by Littlesis, designed to be easily deployable by any projects using the ‘Who’s got Dirt’ standard.

Month's Toolkit

ParaText: CSV parsing at 2.5 GB per second // It reads text files in parallel on a single multi-core machine. The alpha release includes a parallel Comma Separated Values (CSV) reader with Python bindings.

SyntaxDB: Quickly look up syntax for programming languages: // It is designed for programmers who often need to do a Google search for their syntax needs, like these people.

Motion AI: Chatbots made easy: // Visually build, train & deploy bots to do just about anything.

VisualAlchemist: // Open source web-based database diagramming and automation tool.

Wordsmith, A robot data scientist for your spreadsheet: // Create clear, actionable text from your data inside the spreadsheets you work with every day. It is available directly within Excel and Google Sheets.

Hyperdev, a developer playground for building full-stack web-apps fast // The team behind Trello just announced the public beta of this tool which intends to be “the fastest way to bang out code and get it running on the internet”.

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  • Every week, OpenCorporates team will be sending out a list ofmissions.If you do not code, don’t worry, there are missions for you too! Join OC’s Slack to participate.

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