How to Write a Good Data Question

Our Insights Service is a Question and Answer site for data questions, to make it easier for civic-minded San Diegans to better understand our local issues. However, it can be difficult to ask a good question that our analysts can answer. Here are some tips for writing a good data question. A good data question … Read more

Dig Into Data: Street Lights, Land Use and Crime

This Wednesday evening we will be meeting for a hands-on introduction to datasets related to city infrastructure, crime, landuse, business permits, and other factors. We will talk about how to use the data sets and how to analyze them using Excel, GIS tools and statistical programs. The contents will start mildly technical, with the most … Read more

Crime And Street Lamps

In preparing to formally launch the San Diego Regional Data Library, we’ve been spending a lot of time talking to nonprofits, community planing groups, city staff and city council members about their data needs. The staff for District 9 mentioned that Council member Marti Emerald is interested in infrastructure issues, particularly how crime is related … Read more

That Map Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

Last week I showed a wonderful heat map of crime from Trulia, that made it more clear where crimes were actually occurring. Unfortunately, the map does not really have much information; anyone who lives in the area already knows where the crime is. To illustrate, compare the crime map: To this map: Suspiciously similar? The second … Read more

Faking a Map in Excel

  UXBlog has a wonderful guide  to making fake maps in Excel. The technique involves putting values from a dataset into bins by rounding latitude and longitude, so that each cell in the spreadsheet represents one degree of lat/lon. If the color of the cell is computed from  the number of datapoints that fall into each cell, the … Read more