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Sevilla Presus: Data-driven journalism at municipal level

Written by
  • J. Félix Ontañón
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A such a disruptive technology as Internet, is forcing us to re-think the role and methods of many professions. Old models hasn’t died yet, but in the new ones we can find some common patterns for success: empowering people through a community for cooperation. Journalism isn’t the exception. Through the The Guardian Data Blog, as an example, many citizens helped to transcribe and find stories in the MP’s expenses data: people give their eyes, The Guardian gives the platform.

Sevilla Actualidad and Sevilla Report, both local newspapers in Sevilla (Spain), are using two OKFN tools empower their fellow citizens in the spirit of The Guardian Data Blog. With the help of OpenKratio, a group of citizens for fostering the Open Government Data culture in Spain, we’ve launched #SevillaPresus13, a Crowdcrafting app to crowdsource the transcription of municipal budgets.

#SevillaPresus13

We aim to complete a set of visualizations on OpenSpending for the 2011-2013 municipal budget series (2012 was done), so it would be available for everyone to embed them in their own web posts. The plan is to link the budgetary information with the municipal public procurement. This way both local newspaper will have a powerfull tool to monitorize the municipal activity and finding insteresting stories to tell. This project has been accepted into a data-journalism contest in Madrid (Spain).

Crowdcrafting is an amazing platform to build crowdsourcing apps for transcribing document and images into machine-readable data. As it provides some out-of-the-box pdf transcribe apps, all you need to do is download, customize and deploy for your own proposes. In the case of PDF files, tools as Tabula are improving the way non-techie people can unlock the information, but only Crowdcrafting is able to develop an engaging crowd-experience for users.