Speed data-ing from sea to shining sea

Nearly 200 news, politics and data junkies, some hailing from as far away as Great Britain and Saudi Arabia, gathered on the campuses of Stanford University and Columbia University to figure out ways to harness data and technology to illuminate the ways money influences politics.


  1. We started as the sun rose in New York City
  2. And went until long after it set in California.
  3. At Stanford, participants heard from faculty experts and from representatives of the Sunlight Foundation, Maplight, Facebook, Google and the Sacramento Bee. Sunlight offers online training it its tools and other useful resources here:

  4. Northwestern University's Joe Germuska offered a workshop on Census data:
  5. Datafest Census Workshop
  6. In New York, Kathy Kiely talked about why the Sunlight Foundation helped sponsor the event and why an ink-stained journalist like herself wanted to hang with the math geeks.
  7. And Lauren Pabst explained why the MacArthur Foundation generously supported the vision.
  8. Pro Publica Editor Steve Engelberg delivered the New York keynote address, which you can watch here.
  9. Afterwards, he schmoozed with some of the participants.
  10. Derek Willis of the New York Times made a pitch for the Open Elections project, which needs crowd-sourcing. 
  11. Datafest Open Elections
  12. Stanford offered a series of presentations on how to find and use data.
  13. Legendary editor Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal delivered the California keynote.