Tag: public records

by Ryan Thornburg

WRAL.com, North Carolina’s most widely read online news site, recently published a tool that allows you to search concealed weapons permits down to the street level. It didn’t use OpenBlock to do so. Why? Or, if you’re like many journalistically and technically savvy people I’ve spoken over the last few months, you could ask why […] more »

by Eliza Kern

Storing paper records in the attic of a police station might sound like a practice from the distant past, but that’s what I learned happens in at least one rural North Carolina county. In fact, good old-fashioned paper copies of public records are still common in rural parts of North Carolina. Part of our job […] more »

by Ryan Thornburg

A few months ago, my kids hit an inevitable, but still terrifying, milestone — they began asking for a pet. Being a complete Scrooge, I quickly set to work explaining that pets are hard work and expensive. Showing a strong knack for journalism, they demanded proof of my assertions, so we set off to the […] more »

by Ryan Thornburg

A visit to one of America’s small, rural communities that are called home by more than 60 million of us is sometimes like a step back in time. Cars downtown still park parallel to the curb, and not too far beyond downtown are fields and maybe even a factory or two still. Go to a […] more »

by Amanda Hickman

DocumentCloud’s Jeremy Ashkenas collaborated on this post. It has been less than a year since DocumentCloud began adding users to our beta. Late Monday morning, a user uploaded our millionth page of primary source documents. The thousands of documents in our catalog have arrived in small batches: five pages here, twenty there. The vast majority […] more »

by JD Lasica

I’m on an open API kick here at IdeaLab, so here’s the second of three entries on the potential of application programming interface for news organizations. (I’ll post a final video interview on Monday.) This is a way to give the public true access to public records. Oddly, that rarely happens now, with media organizations […] more »