Tag Archives: sql

VIDEO: An introduction to SQL for data journalists

The database query language SQL pops up in all sorts of places when you’re working with data — especially big data — and can be a very useful way to query data in spreadsheets, APIs and coding. This video, made for students on the MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University, explains what SQL is, the different places you will come across it, and how to get started with SQL queries.

You’ll find related resources and tutorials in the repo here.

UPDATE: Thanks to Tony Hirst in the comments for pointing me to his post about browser-based SQL tools.

This video is shared as part of a series of video posts.

How to: get started with SQL in Carto and create filtered maps

map carto

Today I will be introducing my MA Data Journalism students to SQL (Structured Query Language), a language used widely in data journalism to query databases, datasets and APIs.

I’ll be partly using the mapping tool Carto as a way to get started with SQL, and thought I would share my tutorial here (especially as since its recent redesign the SQL tool is no longer easy to find).

So, here’s how you can get started using SQL in Carto — and where to find that pesky SQL option. Continue reading

Scraperwiki now makes it easier to ask questions of data


Image from @EatSafeWalsall

I was very excited recently to read on the Scraperwiki mailing list that the website was working on making it possible to create an RSS feed from a SQL query.

Yes, that’s the sort of thing that gets me excited these days.

But before you reach for a blunt object to knock some sense into me, allow me to explain…

Scraperwiki has, until now, done very well at trying to make it easier to get hold of hard-to-reach data. It has done this in two ways: firstly by creating an environment which lowers the technical barrier to creating scrapers (these get hold of the data); and secondly by lowering the social barrier to creating scrapers (by hosting a space where journalists can ask developers for help in writing scrapers).

This move, however, does something different. Continue reading