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19 October, 2013

Stop 'text-ualizing' and start visualizing

Every geo-article needs a map, so I made one for The New York Times.

Writer Evan Rail just filed an excellent New York Times article on the emerging craft beer scene in Berlin.

I live in Berlin, so I wanted to see if any of these places were close to me.
I was in luck, at the end of his article he lists 11 locations.

I took that text, researched the exact geo-location data and in about 10 minutes built this data visualization using the free MapsEngine tool from Google.

Visualizing location data rather 'text-ualizing' that content means that an end user can easily act upon it to plan a proper pub crawl of Berlin.

A logical next step would be to repurpose this hard-won data into an HTML 5 - based mobile app and provide mobile users with a handy tool to tour these beer meccas by bicycle, because, Berliner's live on their bikes.

That wouldn't be too hard to do, because we have already transformed the unstructured text into structured text.

I'll show you.

This is a screen grab of the unstructured text from the end article.

And here is how that same information appears when edited into a simple data structure.

Structured data is transportable.

Lesson over: Let's get busy building that "Berlin Craft Beer Finder" App and serve our mobile readers with the fruits of our reporting.

One database, many uses.


Visit the data-driven Berlin beer map