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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – Google Fusion Tables

April 20th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

This ‘how to’ post on Poynter offers a step-by-step guide on how to visualise data, in this case using Google Fusion Tables, to create heat maps. Tipster: Rachel McAthy.

To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Beet.TV: Mapping platform Ushahidi shifting focus to revenue

Open source mapping platform Ushahidi is now offering a customising service to users of its platform, in an attempt to earn its own income from the technology.

The platform, which maps reports on an event or occurance geographically, will still be free to download and run.

Speaking in a video interview with Beet.TV, executive director of Ushahidi Ory Okolloh discussed the next stage of development for the site.

Our focus up to this point has been just on getting the code out there and refining the tool. We’re now starting to work on sustainability and ways we don’t have to rely so much on foundations, but generating our own income.

The tool will always be free but now we do customisations for a fee.

Ushahidi has also recently launched a tool to help with translations of reports, a video plugin for those unable to report in other ways and there is a “revamped” iPhone app coming out soon, she added.

The idea is to just keep going and to keep always being on the edge of innovation.

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Guardian experiments with Crowdmap for Pope’s visit

September 17th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Multimedia

Following BBC London’s use of open source mapping technology Crowdmap to cover the London Underground strikes earlier this month, the Guardian is using the tool to record reports of the Pope’s visit to the UK.

The map blends text, image and video reports from the Guardian’s own team with those submitted by readers and papal bystanders. There’s a certain tongue-in-cheek element to it as well, with categories for popemobile sightings and miracles alongside reports on protests and official news.

Explains the Guardian’s Paul Lewis in a blog post:

You can send anything, but we’re particularly interested in incidents, events and insights from people who find themselves at the right place at the right time, spotting something that the papal entourage of global media miss. It is important that you tell us where you are when you send your dispatch.

The majority of the updates plotted so far are from the Guardian, but it will be interesting to see how tools like this take off and how they might be further integrated into live reporting.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – using OpenHeatMap for visualisations

September 2nd, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Mapping: Great video from OpenHeatMap’s Pete Warden on how to use the tool to create visualisations of geographic data – mainly US and maps of the world available – but worth playing with. Tipster: Laura Oliver.

To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Crisis-mapping platform Ushahidi launches new simple service

Open source crisis-mapping platform Ushahidi has launched a new service for the less technically minded user.

Crowdmap enables anyone to rapidly deploy the platform on a subdomain without the need for any installation.

Testing the platform yesterday Curt Hopkins from ReadWriteWeb.com came into some difficulties, but the company say these have now been ironed out. Hopkins added that if the problems are sorted, the platform has significant potential for supporting blogging in difficult situations.

Crowdmap, if it works without inducing aneurysms, may have the potential that blogging did in areas of conflict and high censorship: anyone with basic tech access and determination should be able to download, launch and run a Crowdmap deployment.

See his full post here…

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News Designs: How to use maps in print

August 6th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

Some great advice here from News Designs on what works best for maps and infographics in newspaper print editions. The post covers:

  • Typography;
  • Colour;
  • Connecting to the headline;
  • The use of photography;
  • Interpretation.

Full post on News Designs at this link…

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Nieman Journalism Lab: How Ushahidi can be use by media organisations

Patrick Meier, Ushahidi’s director of crisis mapping and strategic partnerships, talks to Nieman Journalism about how the crowdsourced mapping technology can be used by media organisations in the video below.

There’s a full transcript of Meier’s comments on the Nieman site too. Ushahidi has previously been used as a crisis management tool with its initial launch used to track and monitor acts of violence and the humanitarian situation during post-election violence in Kenya.

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Mapping stories and historical images on Google Street View

June 4th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Multimedia

Historypin, a site that overlays historical images and related stories on Google Street View, describes itself as “like a digital time machine”:

It uses Google Maps and Street View technology and hopes to become the largest user-generated archive of the world’s historical images and stories.

Historypin asks the public to dig out, upload and pin their own old photos, as well as the stories behind them, onto the Historypin map. Uniquely, Historypin lets you layer old images onto modern Street View scenes, giving a series of peaks into the past.

It has been developed by We Are What We Do, the “social movement” and campaign that was behind the book ‘Teach your Granny to Text and Other Ways to Change the World’, in partnership with Google.

If the technology behind it were opened up, this would be a fascinating way to publishing ‘nostalgia’ pictures from local newspapers, news archives or map historic stories.

(via Mapperz)

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NYTimes.com: How Ushahidi is ‘transforming the notion of bearing witness’

How Ushahidi, the mapping technology developed to help bloggers and citizen journalists share information about political violence in Kenya, is being used by news organisations and governments:

With every new application, Ushahidi is quietly transforming the notion of bearing witness in tragedy. For a very long time, this was done first by journalists in real time, next by victim/writers like Anne Frank and, finally, by historians. But in this instantaneous age, this kind of testimony confronts a more immediate kind: one of aggregate, average, good-enough truths.

Full story at this link…

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – mapping local news buzz

Blogging: Keep an eye on Bing’s Local Lens application – currently only available for certain US cities, it adds blog posts and Twitter updates to maps of local areas. A great tool for local journalists tracking stories or looking for leads. Tipster: Laura Oliver.

To submit a tip to Journalism.co.uk, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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