Class Projects - Spring 2013


Sensus makes it easy for reporters to find U.S. Census data that will inform or guide their reporting.

Sensus project from the Collaborative Innovation class Spring 2013.
What it does

Sensus is designed to make the otherwise challenging task of sifting through vast quantities of U.S. census data more manageable.  Sensus offers a quick way for journalists (or members of the general public) to navigate census data, which may inspire stories or confirm or refute facts the reporter is using. Users drill into the data through a series of drop down menus, the results of which are shown in a tri-colored map that allows the user to quickly identify high, low and outlier values. 

How it works

The application draws from an enormous library of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, via The map was built using the D3 JavaScript library.

Next Steps
  • Expand range of project to include more of the data recorded by the U.S. Census.
  • Improve statistical analysis to let users quickly spot outliers using stats-based visuals. 

Screenshot of the user interface and map.

Technology architecture.


More about Sensus Project

Initial Concept: Rich Gordon

Student Team: Jason Peterson (journalism), Sai Kolli (computer science), Saman Sheikh (journalism), Shaker Islam (computer science)

Faculty Guidance: Larry Birnbaum, Rich Gordon, and Kris Hammond (with assistance from Shawn O’Banion)