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Data Bootcamp: Storytelling with Maps & Visualization—June 7 & 8, 2014

hughphillipPlaceSpeak’s Hugh Stimson is co-leading a two-day data bootcamp on “Storytelling with Maps & Visualization”  with Phillip Smith in partnership with Langara College as part of the Tyee Spring Master Class Series on June 7 and 8, 2014.

 Via The Tyee:

We’re pleased to be offering this class with Langara College Continuing Studies. They are handling registration and will be happy to help you through their process. To register, call 604.323.5322 and request CRN 60643 Course CONF 1003: Tyee Master Class. If you have any specific questions, please call our Langara liaison Judi Piggott at 604.323.5931 or email her at [email protected].


TITLE: Two-Day Data Bootcamp
INSTRUCTORS: Hugh Stimson & Phillip Smith
DATES: Saturday, June 7th & Sunday, June 8th
TIME: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. both days
LOCATION: Langara College
DETAILS: Includes coffee and lunch, with reception to follow after 3 p.m.
REGISTRATION: To register, call 604.323.5322
LEARN MORE: Tyee Master Classes 2014 Two-Day Data Bootcamp


More than ever, data is what makes up the world. From research and polling and web analytics to our own obsession with tracking personal information like location or fitness levels, we’re bombarded by data and endless ways of capturing it. Used effectively, data mapping and visualization can be an extremely powerful tool in your storytelling arsenal.

In this two-day, hands-on data bootcamp, you’ll learn both the technical aspects of data cleaning and manipulation, as well as the more nuanced ways to effectively explore, investigate, map, and visualize your data. Equipped with the latest software and the direct instruction and feedback from geoinformatics expert, Hugh Stimson (@hughstimson), and The Tyee’s own data wizard, Phillip Smith (@phillipadsmith), you’ll enter this intensive workshop with a messy data set and finish with a solid presentation of your intended project.

Hands-on training will be provided for a range of data mapping and visualization software, including CartoDB, QGIS, Fusion Tables, Open Refine, and more.


This data-focussed class is for journalist, activists, non-profits, social entrepreneurs, and anyone with a story to tell. This is part workshop, part hack-a-thon, and 100% hands-on: all participants will be expected to (with help from the instructors) complete and present a project at the end of the second day.


Come prepared with a project in mind and ideally a data set or two.


Hugh Stimson is a map maker and data herder who helps values-based organizations with analysis and communications. Hugh has taught Geographic Information Systems to students and professionals at the University of California, the University of Michigan and the Smithsonian Institution, where he worked and studied in GIS, ecology and complex systems analysis.

Hugh currently runs a consultancy in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Right now he’s helping Georgia Strait Alliance and Raincoast Conservation Foundation map simulated oil spills in the Salish Sea, he earlier built a map of provincial carbon sinks and sources for the Tyee Solutions Society, and he assesses species, habitat and ecosystem services for groups like the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Wildlife Society and the BC Forest Practices Board.


Phillip is a veteran digital publishing consultant. For almost two decades he has provided expert advice and hands-on help to innovative and progressive organizations around the globe. Phillip is also a data journalism trainer, regularly delivering group and one-on-one trainings to professional journalists to assist with data-driven reporting projects.

Phillip’s current focus is the field of “news innovation”: the rapidly changing technologies and ideas that are shaping how users interact with journalism online. Over the last ten years, he has worked with daily online news operations, weekly & monthly news magazines, and forward-thinking book publishers, for example High Country News, Global News, Grist.org, Mother Jones, New Internationalist, OR Books, Rabble, and the award-winning daily online news site, The Tyee.

Earlier in his career, Phillip developed software, online fundraising initiatives, and advocacy campaigns for a number of leading-edge social-change organizations, including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, International Freedom of Expression Exchange, Make Poverty History, and the National Peace Corps Association. In 2008, he was the CTO for Ralph Nader’s third presidential campaign, which raised more than 1 million dollars and got on the ballot in 49 states.


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