In September, the complete PANDA team met at ONA in Boston to review our survey responses, organize them into features, and plot a development road map for the year. The PANDA project aims to make basic data analysis quick and easy for news organizations, and make data sharing simple.

On our wiki, you can see transcribed versions of the documents we created during that planning session:

The last link is particularly important, because it documents that today is an important day:

Today is Alpha 1 release day!

PANDA is still in the early stages of construction, but we believe strongly in the power of gathering incremental feedback throughout the course of development. For this release, we’ve delivered a subset of the features that we identified as most important. To allow the widest audience of users to give us feedback on how we’re doing so far, we’ve set up a public test installation of PANDA:

Try PANDA now!

We invite you to try uploading and searching a dataset of your own. However, a few caveats are in order:

  • While PANDA is capable of handling very large files, for the sake of everyone who wants to try PANDA, it would be good if you kept your uploads under 5MB.
  • This version has not been browser-tested. It is known to work in the latest version of Chrome and Firefox, but there may be unforeseen issues with other browsers.
  • The visual presentation and styling remain very rough and should not be viewed as indicative of the final product.

If you discover any issues, please use the links in the upper right-hand corner of the application to send us your feedback, or you can always email chrisg@ire.org.

For the more adventurous hackers amongst you, the PANDA README contains detailed instructions on how to run your own instance locally or on EC2.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the first alpha release of PANDA!