Tag: state decoded

by Chris Sopher

A version of this post originally appeared on the Knight Foundation blog. Knight Foundation’s John Bracken, director of journalism/media innovation, contributed to this post. Now that 2012 has come to an end, we want to give you an update on the Knight News Challenge. For 2013, we’re planning two News Challenges. The first will focus […] more »

by Waldo Jaquith

Throughout the planning process for the State Decoded project, I have made the basic assumption that the primary source of traffic for the software would be from search engines. People typing in things like “boundary law in kentucky” or “grand larceny illinois bad checks,” would be led directly to the law in question, presented within […] more »

by Waldo Jaquith

Semantically, legal codes are smooth, shapeless balls of text. They’re programmatically inaccessible, useless to software — and most people. There’s simply nothing on which to get a purchase. As qualitative data, they’re inaccessible to quantitative analysis. This is the problem that the State Decoded project seeks to solve. The State Decoded’s job is to turn […] more »

by Waldo Jaquith

A rich source of information about laws is found in the history data that accompanies each law in most states, but you’ve probably never noticed it. For example, Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act has a series of exemptions spelled out in § 2.2-3705.1 which has a cryptic series of numbers listed below the law, in […] more »

by Waldo Jaquith

There is a common belief that since laws are the result of legislation, then surely one can automatically assemble an amended version of the code based on the bills that have passed the legislature. This is both a really cool idea and a wrong one. Your standard narrative of how a bill becomes law doesn’t […] more »