With the closing of EveryBlock yesterday, both of the main reasons I started working in News Applications have disappeared from the internet. The other reason was a New York Times app called Represent, which allowed you to keep an eye on your elected representatives. The world is worse off with these pioneering news apps gone, but retiring old apps is something that our industry has to come to terms with. At ProPublica, we’ve started to retire our old apps, by removing search boxes and dynamic calls to the server. We’re making every effort to make them available on the internet forever. The process is a simple one:
wget -mkr -nH --no-parent -p --convert-links --content-disposition --adjust-extension http://url_to_app/
EveryBlock and Represent opened up doors for me: Represent got me started with GIS. The blog post about Represent’s stack is where I learned about GeoDjango and ogr2ogr, a tool I use every day. I even made my own geocoder following their lead.
It is a shame that they are gone from the internet, and I hope we can replace them post haste.