Want to make your own Poderopedia-Type of Project? There is a platform for that

Let`s say you would like to map politicians and their connections, create a semantic database of companies and top executives of the extractive industries, or visualize lobbyists and who they work for? With Poderopedia Plug & Play Platform now you can. It`s free and open source. Fork it!

After winning the Knight News Challenge in 2011, we launched Poderopedia in Chile last fall, with the goal of mapping who’s who in business and politics in our country. Since then, the platform has received a lot of international press coverage, many news websites have used Poderopedia to do fact checking and background reporting, and discover newsworthy conflicts of interest with local politicians. They’ve also reused our content, thanks to our Creative Commons 3.0 license. And civic organizations, universities and media groups in Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia are working right now with our team to create Poderopedia country chapters over 2013.

We also wanted to offer an open-source version of our platform, called Plug & Play, that would let anyone use it to map relationships in their own communities. And, here it is!

Last Friday we
released Plug & Play 1.0 and we are very excited to see what you can do with it.

WHAT IS IT?

Poderopedia Plug & Play Platform is a Data Intelligence Management System that allows you to create and manage large semantic datasets of information about entities, map and visualize entity connections, include entity related documents, add and show sources of information and news mentions of entities, displaying all the information in a public or private website, that can work as a standalone product or as a public searchable database that can interoperate with a Newsroom website, for example, providing rich contextual information for news content using it`s archive.

Poderopedia Plug & Play Platform is a free open source software developed by the Poderomedia Foundation, thanks to the generous support of a Knight News Challenge 2011 grant by the Knight Foundation, a Startup Chile 2012 grant and a 2013 Knight fellowship grant by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).

WHAT CAN I USE IT FOR?

For anything that involves mapping entities and connections.

A few real examples:

  • NewsStack, an Africa News Challenge Winner, will use it for a pan-African investigation by 10 media organizations into the continent’s extractive industries.

  • Newsrooms from Europe and Latin America want to use it to make their own public searchable databases of entities, reuse their archive to develop new information products, provide context to new stories and make data visualizations—something like making their own Crunchbase.

Other ideas:

  • Use existing data to make searchable databases and visualizations of congresspeople, bills passed, what they own, who funds them, etc.

  • Map lobbyists and who they lobby and for whom

  • Create a NBApedia, Baseballpedia or Soccerpedia. Show data and connections about team owners, team managers, players, all their stats, salaries and related business

  • Map links between NSA, Prism and Silicon Valley

  • Keep track of foundation grants, projects that received funding, etc.

  • Anything related to data intelligence

CORE FEATURES

Plug & Play allows you to create and manage entity profile pages that include: short bio or summary, sheet of connections, long newsworthy profiles, maps of connections of an entity, documents related to the entity, sources of all the information and news river with external news about the entity.

Among several features (please see full list here) it includes:

  • Entity pages

  • Connections data sheet

  • Data visualizations without coding

  • Annotated documents repository

  • Add sources of information

  • News river

  • Faceted Search (using Solr)

  • Semantic ontology to express connections

  • Republish options and metrics record

  • View entity history

  • Report errors and inappropriate content

  • Suggest connections and new entities to add

  • Needs updating alerts

  • Send anonymous tips

HOW TO INSTALL AND GET IT RUNNING

Plug & Play`s
documentation includes all the necessary elements and information for installing, setting up and customizing for your project, including the technical documentation and open source technology used, so you can run the platform and website/s as you see fit.

It also includes a theme and templates. You can customize and modify the look and feel and make all the changes you want to the theme and templates. Please acknowledge and credit the use of theme and templates as “Theme by Poderopedia Plug & Play.”

FORK IT!

We’re eager to see the awesome things you create using Plug & Play.
You can fork this project and deploy it with your own modifications. If you do, by all means write to us at team@poderopedia.com, or tweet at @poderopedia telling us, so we can highlight your project.

Finally, if you’d like to contribute to Poderopedia Plug & Play Platform or need some assistance, please open an issue or do a pull request. This is our first public release, so there might be bugs and things we need to improve. We will do our best to answer and include your changes when possible.