This is the last resting place for the work of the data team at Digital First Media's Project Thunderdome. Our team--Peggy Bustamante, Vaughn Hagerty, Nelson Hsu, Tom Meagher and MaryJo Webster--built interactive graphics and news applications and supported computer-assisted reporting projects for the nation's second largest newspaper company. In the spring of 2014, the company decided to shutter Thunderdome and the data team along with it. Before we left, we went back and open sourced many of the projects that we built over our team's 21 months of existence.
In the repos of our Github organization, you'll find the code and data behind many of the projects we built in our short lifespan. These are charts and maps, graphs and quizzes, news applications and games that ran on the websites of Digital First Media's 75 daily papers. Many of these we created as a result of partnering with reporters and editors in those local newsrooms on stories they were pursuing. Others we reported and built ourselves.
Most of these repos are just the code for the various one-off stories and projects, including the bombings at the Boston Marathon, coverage of the Newtown school shooting, an investigation of Connecticut school superintendent salaries and more data tables than you can shake a stick at, like all of the ads aired during the Super Bowl for five years. You're welcome to peruse the code, look at the projects and use anything you find interesting.
Some of these tools and templates we found ourselves using over and over again. We think these repos in particular will be of interest to other newsrooms looking to kickstart their news development.
Here's where you come in.
We have provided bare bones documentation on every project, often inline in the code. For many of these reusable templates we singled out above, a little more work needs to be done to truly abstract them and to guide other users through the process of bootstrapping them, in order to spin them up. We would love it if other newsroom developers would fork repos they find intriguing and help us make them easier for everyone to use. We accept pull requests!
There are many ways you can reach us. Feel free to file issues in any of the repos with questions. You can ping the data team on Twitter, or you can email us at email@example.com.