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Al Shaw

News Applications Developer

Photo of Al Shaw

Al Shaw is a news applications developer at ProPublica. Equal parts designer, developer and reporter, he uses data and interactive graphics to cover environmental issues, natural disasters and politics. A year before Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Shaw was part of a team that produced “Hell and High Water,” which warned of the region's vulnerability to coastal storms. The project won a Peabody Award in 2017. Shaw's project, “Losing Ground,” about the century-long erosion of Louisiana's coast won a Gold Medal from the Society for News Design. His interactive maps surrounding FEMA's response to Hurricane Sandy were honored with the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi award. Before joining ProPublica, Shaw was a designer/developer at the political news website Talking Points Memo.

Hell and High Water

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country. It's home to the nation's largest refining and petrochemical complex, where billions of gallons of oil and dangerous chemicals are stored. And it's a sitting duck for the next big hurricane. Why isn't Texas ready?

Hell and High Water (Full Text)

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country. It's home to the nation's largest refining and petrochemical complex, where billions of gallons of oil and dangerous chemicals are stored. And it's a sitting duck for the next big hurricane. Why isn't Texas ready?

How We Made Hell and High Water

The Color of Debt

The black neighborhoods where collection suits hit hardest

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, While Water Supplies Last

How 40 years of unchecked growth may eventually bust Las Vegas’ water supply.

Killing the Colorado: Explore the River

How the Colorado was turned into a giant plumbing system.

Louisiana’s Moon Shot

The state hopes to save its rapidly disappearing coastline with a 50-year, $50 billion plan based on science that’s never been tested and money it doesn’t have. What could go wrong?

Reporting From the Youngest Land in the World

How we got aerial photographs for our project on Louisiana’s effort to save its southeastern coast.

Losing Ground: Southeast Louisiana is Disappearing, Quickly

Scientists say one of the greatest environmental and economic disasters in the nation’s history -- the rapid land loss occurring in the Mississippi Delta -- is rushing toward a catastrophic conclusion. ProPublica and The Lens explore why it's happening and what we’ll all lose if nothing is done to stop it.

Introducing Landline and Stateline: Two Tools For Quick Vector Maps in your Browser

Today we're releasing code to make it easier for newsrooms to produce maps quickly.

How Dark Money Flows Through the Koch Network

An obscure Arizona nonprofit disbursed millions in cash from anonymous donors. Some was spent on the 2012 elections.

Tire Tracker

Use this database to look up how your tires are rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Income Inequality Near You

Income equality is expected to be a major theme of President Obama's State of the Union address tonight. Explore the income equality of your county, based on data from the 2010 American Community Survey.

Journalists: Send ProPublica Your Redaction Classics

The Obama administration’s take on transparency can be rather opaque. Send us your most memorable FOIA documents for our Redaction Classics collection.

How We Made the 3-D New York City Flood Map

We used features only available in the most modern web browsers to create the interactive map of the city's flood zones.

Sharpening the Government’s Blurry Maps

The Senate may soon vote on legislation that would require FEMA to prepare more accurate maps before flood insurance rates can be raised.

How Well Did FEMA's Maps Predict Sandy's Flooding?

When Superstorm Sandy struck New York and New Jersey last year, the accuracy of FEMA’s flood-risk maps for the area, used to help guide development and set flood insurance rates, varied widely. In some cases, the data behind the maps dated as far back to the 1970s. Click a county below to see more about FEMA’s data for that county.

Federal Flood Maps Left New York Unprepared for Sandy — and FEMA Knew It

The agency ignored state and city officials' appeals to update the maps with better data until it was too late.

How We Analyzed FEMA's Risk Maps

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