Introducing the Geo Data Merger — an open source tool to explore and merge datasets

We built a quick and easy-to-use tool for merging datasets in the browser. Today, we publish it for everyone to use.

In which neighborhood are most bicycles getting stolen? What was the election outcome for each individual constituency? In which communities do women — for a change — earn more than men? Whether the aim is to create an interactive map or to analyse multiple variables: data journalists often find themselves confronted with the task of combining two or more datasets. Luckily, as crunching numbers is our bread and butter, merging data is not that big of a challenge for most data journalists. Especially if the two datasets in question already have an identifier column they can be merged by. Nevertheless, this task can eat up your time. Datasets are often provided in different formats. Especially with geodata, loading and reading the data with the programming language of our choice to just have a casual look at it can take several minutes and costs a lot of nerves alone. There has to be a simpler and faster way to do this, we thought to ourselves.

This is why we built the Geo Data Merger, a small tool for merging datasets in the browser. No coding required: using the Geo Data Merger is as simple as it can be. Just drag and drop the files you want to merge or get a preview of, select the keys to merge by, and save the result in the file format you prefer. And you’re ready to go. It’s really as simple as that.

Since we built the tool, we’ve been using it on a regular basis to merge files or to get a quick overview of datasets. And because it makes our work easier, we wanted to share it with you! This is why we haven’t just published the tool for everyone to use, we also open sourced the project. We hope the Geo Data Merger will help you as much as it helps us and look forward to receiving your feedback!

Funke Interaktiv is the interactive and data team of the Funke Media Group. Formerly known as the Interactive Team of the Berliner Morgenpost, the journalists, developers and designers regularly publish applications, graphics, maps and storytelling formats for the titles of the Group — still including the Berliner Morgenpost, but also other German local newspapers like the Hamburger Abendblatt or the WAZ. Rental prices, election data, flight routes or measles: The team deals with the most diverse topics that are important on a local level, but also nationwide. They find news in large amounts of data and experiment with new research methods and formats. You can find their latest projects in the team’s portfolio.

Funke Interaktiv regularly publishes applications, graphics, maps and storytelling formats for the titles of the Funke Media Group.

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