While the MapChecking tool has been around for a couple of years, Samatha Sunne reminded us about it in her recent Tools for Reporters newsletter. In 2017, Poynter noted how French developer Anthony Catel created it in “one hour” after hearing the campaign of French presidential candidate François Fillon talk about the candidate’s ability to bring 200,000 people in the Parisian Place du Trocadéro to support him. The tool uses a drag and drop map that helps you estimate the maximum number of people who can stand in a given area. It’s pretty intuitive, but Poynter put together a how to and how it works.
Facebook’s Graph Search allowed anyone to search a wealth of public data on Facebook in very specific ways, such as searching content for keywords in a particular point in time. Late last week Facebook quietly made changes to a set of advanced features that previously allowed users to search the social network in powerful ways, such as finding all posts on Facebook by a keyword and within a certain date range, all of the people who like a certain Facebook Page and live in a particular city, or places visited by two specific users. All of the information gathered by these search features is from user's public profiles, but the news highlights Facebook's recent emphasis on privacy, and comes after a series of privacy and security incidents at the company.
ProPublica launched a new feature for their Nonprofit Explorer database: The ability to search the full text of nearly 3 million electronically filed nonprofit tax filings sent to the IRS since 2011. Nonprofit Explorer already lets researchers, reporters and the general public search for tax information from more than 1.8 million nonprofit organizations in the United States, as well as allowing users to search for the names of key employees and directors of organizations. Now, users of their free database can dig deep and search for text that appears anywhere in a nonprofit’s tax records, as long as those records were filed digitally, which, according to the IRS, covers about two-thirds of nonprofit tax filings in recent years.
Investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, a correspondent for the independent Russian-language news site Meduza, was detained in Moscow on Thursday. According to police records, Golunov was detained around 2:40 PM on June 6, and searched. During the search, a package was found inside his bag containing an ‘unidentified substance’ later alleged to be mephedrone, an amphetamine-related stimulant. Golunov, who denied having ever seen the package before, is being charged with possession of a controlled substance as well as attempted illegal sale. In a statement, Meduza founder Galina Timchenko and editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov said they believe Golunov was detained because of his work as a journalist: over the years, Golunov has published numerous investigations, exposing corrupt politicians, high-profile businessmen and various fraudulent schemes.
Australian Federal Police officers raided the ABC's Sydney headquarters over a series of 2017 stories known as The Afghan Files. The stories, by investigative journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, revealed allegations of unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian special forces in Afghanistan and were based off hundreds of pages of secret Defence documents leaked to the broadcaster. The search warrant names Oakes, Clark and the broadcaster's Director of News Gaven Morris. Three AFP officers entered the offices first, followed shortly afterwards by three police IT technicians. AFP officers served the broadcaster’s legal team with a warrant and are searching for, and copying onto hard drives, information related to the warrant.
Microsoft is updating Excel for iPhone to add a new way to import spreadsheets and tables into the app using a camera. The feature first debuted on Android back in March, and it allows Excel users to take a photo of a printed data table and convert it into a fully editable table in the app. You’ll be able to import it with Excel for iPhone and then carry on editing it at your desk using Excel for Windows or Mac. The app uses optical character recognition alongside machine learning models to convert paper-based data into a digital table. The image recognition will automatically detect financial spreadsheets, work schedules, task lists, timetables, and other tables. The new feature is available immediately in Excel for iPhone in 21 different countries from Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store for Android.
Source: The Verge