Monday, October 29, 2007

Behold the DataSphere

The Roanoke Times is the latest to join the online rush to create data warehouses that anyone can search.

Behold the DataSphere. (Cool name, if nothing else). As the story announcing it says (emphasis mine):

Newspapers have produced stories based on data and databases for years, of course.

Roanoke Times education writer David Harrison used data on enrollment at Hurt Park Elementary School in Roanoke as a basis for today's front page story on that school's comeback despite whispers that it might be shuttered before long.

The difference here is that, while we might mine that data for stories to write, we're also offering the same data to you, inviting you to mine the data for yourself, and find stories in it to tell us about.

Let the fun begin.

Addendum: E.W. Scripps project manager Patrick Beeson has a pretty good autopsy of DataSphere's plusses and minuses.

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