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The Nerd Blog

How we make stuff.

Secrets for data journalists, developers, newsroom designers, engagement specialists, and more.

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Meet Column Setter

We developed an open source tool for building custom responsive grids that work in older browsers.

Reinventing Represent

We asked readers to help us reconceive and redesign an interactive database that tracks Congress. Here’s how the process worked.

Other Entries

Chasing Leads and Herding Cats: Shaping a New Role in the Newsroom

A partner manager is a crucial part of making cross-newsroom collaborations work.

New Partnership Will Help Us Hold Facebook and Campaigns Accountable

Starting today you can download a version of the Firefox browser with the Facebook Political Ad Collector built in.

The Election DataBot: Now Even Easier

We’ll show you what’s really new, what’s important, where races are heating up, where the money is flowing and what news is happening. And those are just our first steps.

Shedding Some Light on Dark Money Political Donors

Political nonprofits don’t have to disclose the names of their donors. But thanks to a good-government group, you can now find out about nearly $763 million in donations to these “dark money” organizations.

Download Chicago’s Parking Ticket Data Yourself

For the first time, the city’s database, which tracks more than 28 million parking and vehicle compliance tickets, is easily available to the public.

How ProPublica Illinois Uses GNU Make to Load 1.4GB of Data Every Day

We’ve open-sourced our code for loading Illinois campaign finance data. The process used to take hours. Learn how Make helped cut that down to less than 30 minutes.

New in the Congress API: Lobbying Registrations and More

Our Congress API now lets programmers access lobbying data. It also lets them find congressional press releases that mention bills.

Get an Inside Look at the Department of Defense’s Struggle to Fix Pollution at More Than 39,000 Sites

For the first time, the Pentagon’s internal database used to track its environmental problems is available to the public.

How You Can Keep Track of the Money Political Committees Spend at Trump Properties

Our FEC Itemizer Database now tracks spending at hotels, restaurants and other facilities owned by the Trump Organization.

What Is Congress Talking About?

We’re using data to track the things Congress talks a disproportionate amount about every week.

New in Nonprofit Explorer: People Search

You can now search for people who work for nonprofit organizations.

New Widget Helps You Follow the Money in the Illinois Governor’s Race

We’ve created a widget you can use to track fundraising and spending in the Illinois governor’s race, which is on track to break records.

Lobbying Database Reporting Recipe

We’ve made it easier to sift through thousands of lobbying registration disclosures. Here’s a guide for journalists, researchers and citizens looking for stories in the data.

Covering the Midterms With Election DataBot

It’s not too early to think about reporting on the midterm elections. Get a head start using our free, near-real-time database.

More Machine Learning About Congress’ Priorities

We keep training machine learning models on Congress. Find out what this one learned about lawmakers’ top issues.

Announcing Free Videos and Training Materials From the ProPublica Data Institute

Couldn’t come to the ProPublica Data Institute? Now you can learn some of the lessons from home.

Chamber of Secrets: Teaching a Machine What Congress Cares About

Want to know what distinctive topics your members of Congress are concerned about? Represent’s got you covered.

City Bureau and ProPublica Illinois Partner on Public Meeting Data

Why City Bureau and ProPublica are partnering on a community tool to make public meeting data more accessible.

Introducing Our Data Journalism Advisers

Announcing four researchers who will advise us on our data-journalism projects.

Welcome to the New ProPublica.org

A new publishing system brings a refreshed design and improved features to our site.

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