A big list of data journalism tools and resources

Getting started with data journalism can be tricky, especially if you’re unsure of the best way to start working with your first dataset, or even where to start looking for your first dataset.

At Media Hack, we’ve been working with data and journalism for the past five years. In that time the number of tools and learning materials for data journalism has increased exponentially, to the point where there are so many options available that just getting started can be bogged down in decision-making.

This list of tools and resources is based on our experience working in this area. It includes tools that we have used, that we regularly use or know to be useful to anyone looking to perfect their data journalism.

I will update this list at regular intervals, so if you know of anything that may be worth including please email me (alastair@mediahack.co.za). I can’t include everything but I would like to keep the list as up-to-date as possible.

Blogs & Publications

A selection of sites that cover the practice of data journalism in all its facets.


A mix of newsletters covering data sources, story ideas, techniques and examples of data journalism.


Communities & Organisations

Tutorials & Guides

Publication guides



Accessibility tools


  • Mapshaper: Convert between different geographical data formats or quickly browse or filter your geo-data
  • Reprojector — Easily compare geographical shape sizes
  • How Big — Draw a shape on a map with a given area to see how it compares to physical areas
  • Gimme Geodata — Quick access to Open Street Map data based on your searches
  • Berkeley’s Basic GIS Data list: Links to places where you can find basic GIS data including boundary shapefiles, elevation, gridded population and historical boundaries
  • Ogre — Convert Shapefiles to GeoJSON and back again
  • QGIS: Professional-level open source mapping tool

Online Chart & Visualisation Tools

  • Datawrapper: Easy-to-use charting tool
  • Flourish: Flexible chart-making tool, recently bought by Canva
  • Raw Graphs: Flexible tool to generate a range of charts ideally finished in other graphics tools
  • Observable — Web-based data analysis and visualisation tool from the creator of D3.js


  • SVG Crowbar: Easy-to-use tool from NYT to extract SVG data from web pages
  • ai2html: Convert Illustrator files to HTML
  • URL encoder for SVG: As the name suggests, encode SVG data as a URL

Data Tools

  • Mr. Data Converter: Convert your Excel data into one of several web-friendly formats, including HTML, JSON and XML
  • OpenRefine — Very powerful open-source tool to clean large and messy datasets (more on this)
  • Tabula — Open source tool to extract data from PDFs


  • TwoTone: Free data sonification tool by Google News Initiative


Other Lists

This is certainly not the only list of data journalism resources, nor definitively the best. There are other great lists of resources, many of which focus on specific areas of interest or on resources with a specific regional application: