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Basic concepts and guidelines

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Tools and templates

As an ODI we cannot promote non-open-source applications it’s part of our philosophy of Openness and Independence.

Here are some fundamentals are guiding principles:

  1. We should always promote open source and free software where applicable and appropriate. Those that provide more control over personal data and security protections. 
  2. Tools and applications which are respectful of data privacy and rights - this precludes many proprietary software applications - see terms and conditions.
  3. Tools and applications which do not lock users into services which they cannot afford over the longer term, or require them to loose this access upon account closures.


Sometimes we do use proprietary software and this mix is going to be around for various reasons. Where-ever possible we do try to ensure that these companies have a ‘social’ component that offers services for non-for-profits which offers the full suite without a cost. Tableau and DataWrapper do, as does Mapbox. We have previously moved away from some applications because they do not off these services - such as Carto, ArcGIS and to an extent that we still use some is because of legacy. i.e. many had free terms and then changed these policies at a later date.

Tools and templates for more efficient work

Collaborative documentation

  • Hackpad (cloud-based word processing)
  • Google Drive (cloud-base spreadsheet)
  • (Flowchart/diagram-making tool. It can be connected to Google Drive, Dropbox, Device or browser)

Data cleaning

  • OpenRefine (Tutorials and documentation are availablehere)
  • Workbench (Workbench is recommended workflow of data pipelines over Google spreadsheets, you can follow the tutorial here)


RSS news feeds

Web scraping

API Creation / Testing

Archiving Webpages

Web app automation

* IFTTT * Zapier

Visualization and infographics

Code Editors


Interactive tutorials


External resources

public/tools_and_templates.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/28 08:14 by arkyarky