Category Archives: Research

You Are Here

DeviceWeb “You Are Here” is an experiment in using digital technologies to represent and engage truly local communities, by offering content and interaction that is only available in a particular place. Using small, inexpensive, open-source wireless routers to deliver compelling, location-specific content, “You Are Here” seeks to facilitate conversations that are informed by the character of the physical spaces where they are installed, and which, in turn, shape the lives of the people who live, work, and play there.

You Are Here was installed in two locations in New York City during the summer of 2016: one just across the street from the storied Alphabet City landmark, Tompkins Square Park, and the other just below the 23rd street entrance to one of the city’s newest and loftiest green spaces, the High Line.

For more information and updates on the project, see our updates on the Tow Center website, or visit our online project hub at:


PrintInfoScribe helps investigative journalists unlock the stories trapped in PDFs. Specifically, InfoScribe is a generalized, web-based crowd-sourcing document transcription platform that invites the public to participate in the journalistic process by transcribing specified data fields from documents. What does that mean in plain English? We are building a platform where journalists can upload image-based documents (such as PDFs) and a community transcribes those documents.

Despite the exponential increase of digital data today, newsrooms aren’t getting any larger and OCR technology isn’t advancing fast enough. Though on its surface greater availability of digital public records should be a boon to investigative journalism, the reality is that these records are often published as unstructured, image-based documents, or without essential metadata.

While providing journalists with access to data sources that would otherwise be beyond their reach, InfoScribe seeks to cultivate meaningful, long-term personal investment in the journalistic process by giving transcribers access to the journalists who are doing work they care about, as well as publication credit for their contribution. We want to invite community participation to increase the transparency of, and the public’s confidence in, the journalistic process.

Data Docs

betaLogoData Docs is a series of embeddable interactive video narratives, designed to render seamlessly on desktop and mobile devices. By extending the popular Popcorn.js library via our salt plugin, Data Docs offers a mechanism for integrating both static and interactive JavaScript elements – from text to data-driven charts and graphs – into the timeline of a web-based video. Additional plugins and source files support custom video controls, full-screen support, and device detection. All of these features rely on standards-compliant, open technologies, such as HTML, CSS3, Javascript and jQuery, and will be shared using common resources like GitHub. Project website. GitHub repo. Data Docs platform development is made possible with the generous support of the Knight Foundation Prototype Fund.