DataPress 1.5 Released — Geocoding and more! May 11, 2011 151 Comments

We’ve got a big round of updates to release today, all made possible thanks to a great new member of our team, Zach Wener-Fligner. Zach has been working to make DataPress easier to use for geo data.

You can download the new release on our Google Code page.

We think this release is going to be a huge usability improvement for DataPress. Please let us know if you have any thoughts, feedback, or bug reports!

Automatic Geocoding

You’ll never have to look up latitudes and longitudes again! DataPress can now automatically geocode addresses in your data in the background. We utilize the Google geo-coder in the background so approximate addresses will resolve too. Here are examples of values that will “just work”:

  • 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge MA 02139
  • Massachusetts
  • 02139
  • Mexico

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a map visualization as you normally would
  2. When selecting your Location Field, pick a property in your data that contains an address and then tell DataPress that this is an “Address” field.
  3. When you save your Exhibit, DataPress will Geocode all of the data in the background and cache the results in its database.

That’s it! When you load your map, everything should just work. We double-check the freshness of the geocoding cache every time a user loads your map, which means if the data changes (you’ve added a new address, for instance) we will automatically add its lat,lng into the cache the first time someone tries to view it.

Reordering Views

One of the problems in past DataPress versions was that it was difficult to re-order views. We’ve added drag and drop functionality so that you can drag your list of views into the order in which you’d like to see them.

Auto-Detecting Data Types

DataPress currently supports Google Spreadsheets and “Exhibit-Style” JSON files. DataPress now auto-detects these two data types, so we’ve removed the requirement that users tell us what kind of data they are linking to. We may add this back in the future if we add new data types. Let us know what you think.

We’re Listed on the WordPress Plugin Site! November 14, 2010 61 Comments

In addition to finding and installing DataPress through this site and our Google code repository, we’ve added the project to the WordPress plugin site. ┬áIf you look for plugins through the WordPress plugin search, you can now find us!

How to Install DataPress October 4, 2009 12 Comments

Hi folks,
Here’s a quick video that walks you through the steps of downloading and installing DataPress. We hope to follow it up with a few intro tutorials on usage.

Enjoy.

DataPress 1.0 Released September 15, 2009 32 Comments

After a break while we soaked up the sun (and computer monitor rays) over the summer, we’re back with the DataPress 1.0 Release! This release includes a number of bugs and enhancements, including:

  • Rich-Text lens editing
  • Support for images in lenses tags
  • Wordpress 2.8.4 support (If you haven’t already, upgrade Wordpress!)
  • Better lightboxing
  • A more attractive default theme

More soon — we will have some screencasts and exciting new project features on the way! For now, download the plugin, kick it around, and let us know what you think.

DataPress Beta Released! March 30, 2009 26 Comments

Hi folks. We’re excited to be posting the first beta release of DataPress today, which you can download to install as a WordPress plugin.

Media is undergoing a lot of change—both in how content is published and who is able to reach a large audience. As these changes are taking place, we want to explore tools that support journalistic excellence in online content.

The goal of the DataPress project is to provide online content authors with tools that enable them to incorporate rich, interactive data displays into their content. In addition to being another useful tool in the blogging toolbox, it is our hope that DataPress will help improve the quality of blog content, both for authors and readers. For the author, it provides a new way to present structured data without being a web programmer. For the reader, it provides an engaging display that puts you in control of how you view the data. DataPress is starting out as a WordPress plugin, but we hope to create a platform-independent version of the service in the future.

Our hope is that bloggers can make data presentations as impressive as Major News Outlets for data ranging from publication lists to global facts and figures. We would also like to see how moving these presentations into the blogging world facilitates conversation about, and reuse of, data that is publicly accessible

If you want to try DataPress before you place it in your own WordPress installation, try out our demo site (username/password is demo/demo).

DataPress relies heavily on the Exhibit web framework, originally developed by David Huynh and maintained by the MIT SIMILE group and the wonderful open source community on the SIMILE-Widgets mailing list.

So take check it out, give it a spin, and send us back your suggestions and bug reports.

Oh yeah, and we’re always looking for good open source developers to help us out :)