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Qri Update — March 2020

Qri Springs Forward


It’s been a strange start to the spring for the Qri team (and, well, the world). We’re all working from home, taking care of business while we take care of ourselves and our families. In light of the gloomy news, we wanted to share some exciting developments about our work with you.

Stay home, stay safe, and wash your hands!

NYC Open Data Week

We were proud and excited both to sponsor this year’s School of Data, and to play a leading part in the programming. We led a workshop and demo, and we ran a booth. Here’s proof in case you don’t believe us.

Brendan and Dustin entertain passers-by.
Brendan demos Qri Desktop and CLI tools for a wildly enthusiastic crowd. They carried him off on their shoulders.

NYC Open Data Week — Workshop

We turned our workshop into a tutorial, and published our guidelines and steps on our own site. You can check it out here:

A step-by-step guide we used in our workshop.
Brendan and Chris lead our workshop ‘Versioning an NYC Open Dataset with Qri’

A Profile

The team at Downtown Brooklyn Partnership published this profile of our project. Here‘s an excerpt:

“We think that open data, or the idea of data collaboration, can be moving orders of magnitude faster than it currently does. Today, the way open data works is that it’s basically just a number of people or organizations who collect data then choose to publish online to allow other people to use it. It’s a very one-directional conversation. If you go to the New York City Open Data portal, you can download the data sets New York City publishes. What you can’t do is take the work that I have made from that data set and use it for something of your own.”

Product News

We cut our biggest release to date — Qri Desktop version 0.4.0. Here are some high-level notes on the four exciting new features now sewn into Qri Desktop!

Network Explorier
Browse the Qri network in app! Preview featured and recently published datasets without having to download the full dataset. Find a dataset you want to view in its entirety? Clone the dataset! That will download it from the network to your computer.

Dataset Search
And what browsing experience would be complete without search? We put a navigation bar at the top of the app so you can search the Qri network or your own local Qri repo for datasets, no matter where you are in the app.

In-App Editing
You can now edit your dataset in app without having to checkout your files to the file system! This streamlines and simplifies iteration for those who don’t need the feature of linking your dataset to a folder on your computer. To make changes to the Body, edit the file using an appropriate app (text editors, Numbers, Excel, etc.), save (as .csv), and drag and drop the new version of the body file onto the Body component. When you commit, your new version will contain that updated body!

The next phase of features for Qri involve heavy use of structured data diffing, and we’re starting with an experiment. Use the compare view to generate a diff (a view of what changed) of any two csv files. This feature is very much a work-in-progress. If you have any feedback while you use the compare view, please let us know by filing an issue!

Data Stories

We are publishing and promoting a series of data stories on our blog. These stories are topical examples of work done with Qri or published onto Qri.cloud.

Here’s a running list:

Consumer, Noise & Housing complaints on the Rise as COVID-19 hits NYC (and other early trends) Link

What Do People Want From Democrats? Link

They said a map of NYC Zoning lots was impossible. This is a start. Link

Which NYC Bridge Has The Most Bike Traffic? Link

Tracking a Bus Route’s Data Footprint Link

Where are NYC’s Street Plazas? Link


Staying in Touch

That’s all the news fit to print for now. In the short run, you can help our project along by joining our community calls. We’d love to see you!

Thank you so much for your interest and support.

Team Qri



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Rico Gardaphe

Rico Gardaphe


Head of Business Development for Qri — free and open source dataset versioning software. Former strategy consultant and Obama White House staffer.