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Get a big enough sample
The new US Place Sampler provides a true random sample
Hello, reporters! This is a rather specific tool, but I just heard about it (at the wonderful NICAR Conference) and ended up using it right away, so here we go.
Big Local News is a cool nonprofit that develops tools for journalists, among other projects. They recently released a US Place Sampler, which spits out a certain number of addresses from a certain place.
This is extremely useful if you’re trying to reach out for vox pop interviews, collect info from a sample of places, or do a more formal data collection where you need a representative sample. You can ask for, say, 10% of all addresses in a certain town, or just 10 addresses total.
This is a rather specific task, and the US Place Sampler is obviously limited to the US. But since it ended up being perfect for me just a few weeks after the conference, I figured I would go ahead and share. Also, check out Big Local News’s Tools page for more cool stuff!
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