Now if this works, and is what I was supposed to do, let me just say this: IF NOT FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT, THE MAP PROBABLY WOULD NOT BE HERE AND THE NAMES SURELY WOULDN'T. I take that back. I will probably use this tool in future posts because I can see the possibilities this kind of visualization can create. But as for the names - it depends. Look, I know information like this is a matter of public record, but who knows? They may have paid up by now! (What? It could happen.) In any event, a name field was required so - I had to roll with it. My apologies to the Rockford 16 (I know, I know - they'll probably never see it, but anyway). As much as this assignment worked me, on so many levels, it appears I did teach myself a thing or two. Of that, I am extremely proud. The old brain might be slow, but it's still sure.
Your assignment is to take an MS Access database and make an online map and spreadsheet of deadbeat parents and share them online. One of the main goals of the assignment is for you to do something that many journalists do every day: Discover a new Web tool and teach yourself how to use it. We won't be going over the details of how to use the tool in class, and I won’t demonstrate it. That's up to you to figure out from the Web site and the documentation given online. Please do this assignment independently, with no help from your classmates. If you have trouble using ZeeMaps, use the online help resources provided by ZeeMaps--forums, blogs, documentation, etc.--as you would in the real world. (emphasis mine) Instructions: 1. You’ll be using the MS Access file Assignment3.mdb, which is posted in the sample data folder on blackboard. This is a simple database of child support orders in Illinois. Records indicate the parent involved, the money owed, number of children involved and other information. Extract the deadbeat parent records specified with your name in the students_assignment3.xls spreadsheet posted in the sample data folder on blackboard. 2. Export the appropriate records to 1. an Excel file and 2. a comma-delimited text file. 3. Go to zeemaps.com, create an account, and use the appropriate file to create a map of your deadbeat parents. Share the map online. 4. Use the google docs application to share your spreadsheet online. 5. When the assignment is done, e-mail me the URL of your zeemaps map, and the URL of your shared spreadsheet on google docs.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Rockford Files...(This Is Only A Test Folks)
Trust me, I'm not hurting for things about which to post - as a matter of fact , I have several drafts just sitting (as has been the case since I started this school thing). But I have this journalism assignment to turn in on Tuesday involving computer-assisted reporting and I'm just trying to see if I've taught myself something. So please, just bear with me. Just so you know what I'm doing, here are the instructions we were given: