Welcome to data.tale()

A new data storytelling blog from urban science thinkers at NYU

Ian Xiao
Published in
3 min readApr 2, 2018


Dear writers, students, affiliates, and friends:

We’d like to welcome you to data.tale()! This is a data storytelling blog born out of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). We aspire to publish technical tutorials of data science methods, thought leadership, and data-driven infographics that address key urban issues around the world.

In this post, we go over the blog’s publishing process and guidelines.

Publishing Process

The process to publish on this blog is simple.

  1. Email data.tale.mail@gmail.com to pitch your idea to the editors, and be added as a writer to this publication
  2. Draft your content on Medium
  3. Submit to publication using the publishing guidelines
  4. An editor will review your draft and connect to discuss potential updates
  5. You can revise and re-submit based on the discussion
  6. See your content published on data.tale()!

You maintain 100% ownership of the content you publish on data.tale(). Editors are here to oversee the overall quality and provide writing recommendations.

To maintain consistency and quality, we encourage writers to submit works that follow a set of specifications on theme and content.

Theme Guidelines

Each post should focus on one of the following themes and address the respective key question(s):

  • Public Policy: how does your work inform a better urban policy?
  • City Operation: how does your work help to improve city operation?
  • New Technical Frontier: what new method did you use, and how did it improve the current state of problem solving?
  • Urban Issue: how does your work reveal new insights about a particular urban issue, and what might be the solution?

Content Guidelines

Each post should fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Technical Tutorial

A technical tutorial should showcase the process and code you developed to address one of the themes above. Each tutorial should:

  • focus on the technical implementation of your solution
  • be between 300 to 1000 words
  • include an introduction, 2–3 images that explain the concept and results, and future work considerations
  • include code for the most important part of the process
  • a link to a Github repository for the full code
  • all code must be tested; system requirements should be specified (e.g. Python 2.7+)
  • cite all code and resources you used

Sample title: What can 311 noise complaints in Gowanus tell us about gentrification?

2. Thought Leadership

A thought leadership post should focus on well-researched and formed ideas on how cities can address urban issues with data and technology. Each article should:

  • have a clear argument
  • have evidence of primary or secondary research (e.g. online, paper review, or expert interviews)
  • be between 300 to 1000 words

Sample title: Why is social innovation so hard?

3. Infographic

Infographics should be captivating visualizations that highlight any of the themes mentioned above. Each infographic should be:

  • static or interactive on a common medium (e.g. photoshop, powerpoint, D3, Tableau, web-based, etc.)
  • if it is interactive, one can record sample interactions using GIF for the Medium post; live interaction can be posted on Github or web services

Don’t worry if your existing content does not fit any of the categories — please feel free to send us a note with your ideas at data.tale.mail@gmail.com, and one of our editors will provide specific suggestions to help you re-purpose your materials. We also encourage current CUSP students to expand upon their posts and submit to the Applied Urban Science Group’s academic journal.