The tentative outline for the Spring 2015 course:

Week Subject Details
1 Introduction and course objectives Discussion of the Syllabus and expectations for the course.
2 Data visualizations in context Discussion on influential visualizations in history; Inverted pyramid of data journalism.
3 The very basic tools of the trade A look at the most used tools in data journalism: the spreadsheet and text editor. It's the path to power user.
4 Exploring data visually We'll look at what visual methods are best to explore and convey different types of information. We'll look at categorical, time series, spatial, geographic and variable data, and use the Tableau platform to demonstrate their use.
5 Cleaning data We'll explore powerful tools to wrangle dirty data, like Open Refine and Regular Expressions.
6 Putting it together Using skills learned to date to create an online presentation.
7 Finding and aquiring data Strategies for negotiating for public and other data.
8 Treasure trove: The U.S. Census A tour through several tools to use Census data in reporting. A keen look at how the American Community Survey differs.
Spring Break and Hackathon
9 Merging maps and data to tell stories We'll learn about geographic systems, shapefiles and how they merge with data.
10 Mapping tools Geocoding, QGIS, merging data and more.
11 Maps in public governance Looking at election data to tell the story of how Austin governance made an historic shift in 2014.
12 Online presentation tools Tour of other tools not yet covered
13 Final project labs
14 Final project labs
15 Project presentations
16 No final exam No class


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