July Roundup: Thoughts and tools for & from the data practitioners

Stories and thoughts

Continent of Secrets: Uncovering Africa’s Offshore Empires

IM News July1

Today’s investigations include new details about the middleman at the center of a probe into hundreds of millions of dollars in suspected bribes paid for oil and gas contracts awarded in Algeria.

The files also reveal the offshore assets , including a luxury yacht and jet, of a Nigerian aviation and oil magnate who is reportedly close to a former oil minister and has recently had some of his assets seized as part of a $1.8 billion probe into oil sales.

The revelations published by ICIJ and media partners include investigations from countries that are being examined for the first time, including Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique and Togo (ICIJ , NY Times).

See also:

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IM News July2

Mexican newspaper El Universal has put a face to the 4,534 women who have gone missing in Mexico City and the State of Mexico over the last decade: Ausencias Ignoradas (Ignored Absences) aims to put pressure on the government and eradicate this situation (GIJN).



Search for entities across five influence data APIs

IM News July3

This is a demonstration of the Who’s got dirt? API. The Who’s got dirt? API provides a single access point to multiple APIs of influence data on the web.

It proxies requests to the supported APIs, so that users only need to learn a single request format and a single response format. Read the documentation to learn more about the API and how you can use it in your own projects (Influence Mapping)

Month’s toolkit

  • CSVKit // CSVKit is a group of command-line tools for doing awesome stuff with CSVs, from format conversion through to finding that nugget of data in your rambling comma-separated behemoth of data.
  • Autotune // Autotune is a centralized management system for your charts, graphics, quizzes and other tools, brought to you by the Editorial Products team at Vox Media.

  • DocParser // Convert PDF documents into structured data.

  • d3-pre // A JavaScript library that pre-renders d3 visualizations into inline SVG elements, to reduce perceived page-load time and cut down on unwanted paint flashes.
  • d4 // Declarative Data-Driven Documents. d4 is an experiment in using React to produce data-driven documents (ala d3) that are performant and understandable. This is not a library, but rather a demonstration that it's possible (and preferable) to use React instead of the core of d3.
  • Embulk // Open-source tool for transporting massive, messy datasets—in parallel—from one system to another. In this context, “system” can refer to any number of endpoints including Amazon S3, an SQL database, or even a CSV file on your local computer (via OKFNLabs).

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