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#media140 – Impure visual data tool to tell the story

There has been a range of session formats at #media140, from in-depth keynote speeches and discussion roundtables, to more jam-packed workshops showcasing some of the latest tools in social technology.

Today I attended one of the latter, a session on visualising data by Spanish design house Bestiario.

While it was, in a way, a whirlwind tour of the company’s information processing platform Impure, delegates managed to get a great overview of what it can produce (on my part only with thanks to my translator!)

The focus of the session was not about the written story, but simply visualisation, telling the story with infographics using, in essence, a drag and drop technique.

Just today the Guardian published a visualisation by Bestiario looking at who the UK gives aid to and how it has changed.

For a more detailed explanation of how to use the tool you can visit the site itself, but in simple terms the platform enables journalists to create data visualisation projects.

Users can import data files (csv), convert into a table, pull out specific fields, create different data structures and also select from a range of visualisation formats, based on the data you’re working with.

The final visualisations are publicly published on Impure, and users can also embed the infographics on their own site.

At the moment the application is free to use, and the company says there will always be “an open version”, in order to build and maintain a community.

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