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README.md

Minnpost Snow Emergency

Snow emergency information given time and place.

Unless otherwise noted, MinnPost projects on Github are story-driven and meant for transparency sake and not focused on re-use. For a list of our more reusable projects, go to code.minnpost.com.

Data

  • Minneapolis data obtained through a DPA request, received via email, and included in this repository. Different versions are in the in the data directory.
  • St. Paul data has been requested but not received yet (though it is unsure whether it will be useful since it is likely line data, not polygons).

Updating snow emergency date

There is an attempt to get this automated with a scraper, but until then, the last snow emergency date needs to be manually updated:

  1. Update the lastSnowEmergency option in the app.js file on or around line 30.
  2. Test locally (see below).
  3. Build and deploy with: grunt && grunt deploy

Import into CartoDB

Data has been imported into CartoDB for it's geoquerying capabilities. It seems like the best way to do this is to add a new table each time.

  1. Go to the tables interface and add a new table. Use a .zip of the shapefile.
    1. (Re)Name the table like the following with the most curent date for the data: snow_routes_YYYYMMDD
    2. Tag with snow_route
    3. Make public under privacy settings.
  2. Update the visualization that holds the CartoCSS and legend with the new table:
    1. Click on the SQL tab and change the table name to the new one from above.

Development and running locally

Prerequisites

All commands are assumed to be on the command line, often called the Terminal, unless otherwise noted. The following will install technologies needed for the other steps and will only needed to be run once on your computer so there is a good chance you already have these technologies on your computer.

  1. Install Git.
    • On a Mac, install Homebrew, then do: brew install git
  2. Install NodeJS.
    • On a Mac, do: brew install node
  3. Install Grunt: npm install -g grunt-cli
  4. Install Bower: npm install -g bower
  5. Install Sass: gem install sass
    • On a Mac do: sudo gem install sass
  6. Install Compass: gem install compass
    • On a Mac do: sudo gem install compass

Get code and install packages

Get the code for this project and install the necessary dependency libraries and packages.

  1. Check out this code with Git: git clone https://github.com/MinnPost/minnpost-snow-emergency.git
  2. Go into the template directory: cd minnpost-snow-emergency
  3. Install NodeJS packages: npm install
  4. Install Bower components: bower install

Data processing

(none)

Running locally

  1. Run: grunt server
    • This will run a local webserver for development and you can view the application in your web browser at http://localhost:8893.
    • This will also run BrowserSync so any development changes will appear in the browser automatically; note that compiling SASS can take a few seconds.
  2. By default, running a local server will show you the local development version. But there are other builds that you can view by changing the query parameters. Do note that you may have to run the build and deploy things for things to work normally.

Developing

Development will depend on what libraries are used. But here are a few common parts.

  • js/app.js is the main application and will contain the top logic.

Adding libraries is not difficult, but there are a few steps.

  1. User bower to install the appropriate library: bower install library --save
  2. Add the appropriate reference in js/config.js so that RequireJS knows about it.
  3. Add an entry in the dependencyMap object in bower.json. This is used to automatically collect resources in the build process. It is possible, like with minnpost-styles that multiple entries will need to be made, one ber .js file. Here is an example:
// Should be bower identifier.  Order matters for build, meaning that any dependencies should come first.
"library": {
  // Name used for reference in RequireJS (some modules expect dependencies with specific case, otherwise its arbitrary and you can just use the library name from above).
  // If this is not a JS library, do not include.
  "rname": "library",
  // (optional) Path to un-minified JS files within bower_components excluding .js suffix.
  "js": ["library/dist/library"],
  // (optional) Path to un-minified CSS files within bower_components excluding .css suffix.
  "css": ["library/dist/css/library"],
  // (optional) Path to un-minified IE-specific CSS files within bower_components excluding .css suffix.
  "ie": ["library/dist/css/library.ie"],
  // What is expected to be returned when using as a RequireJS dependency.  Some specific libraries, like jQuery use $, or backbone returns the Backbone class.
  // If this is not a JS library, do not include.
  "returns": "Library"
}

Testing

There are no tests.

Build

To build or compile all the assets together for easy and efficient deployment, do the following. It will create all the files in the dist/ folder.

  1. Run: grunt

Deploy

Deploying will push the relevant files up to Amazon's AWS S3 so that they can be easily referenced on the MinnPost site. This is specific to MinnPost, and your deployment might be different.

  1. Run: grunt deploy
    • This will output a bit of HTML to if you want to use the project as an embed.

There are to main ways to include the necessary HTML in a page in order to run the project.

  1. Copy the relevant parts from index.html.
    • This has the benefit of showing messages to users that have older browsers or have Javascript turned off. This also uses the build that separates out the third-party libraries that are used and are less likely to change; this gains a bit of performance for users.
  2. Copy the embed output from grunt deploy (still in development).

Hacks

List any hacks used in this project, such as forked repos. Link to pull request or repo and issue.

About Us

MinnData, the MinnPost data team, is Alan and Tom aided by MinnPost reports and editors and all the awesome contributors to open source projects we utilize. See our work at minnpost.com/data.


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