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#Tip: Check out these tips on planning and visualising data stories

December 10th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

The recent Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) Issue Brief on data journalism and visualisation brought speakers and delegates together to discuss how to present complex information through visualisations or analyse data sets more easily.

The session was hosted by David Ottewell, head of data journalism at Trinity Mirror Regionals, and Andy Kirk, founder of Visualising Data, who shared their thoughts and experiences on “sourcing, analysing and presenting data-driven stories”, and SIIA programme director Carolyn Morgan helpfully wrote the session up for others to learn from.

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#Tip: Take a look at this list of 8 visualisation tools

Image by JM. Some rights reserved.

Image by JM. Some rights reserved.

On the Visual.ly blog last week Allison McCartney shared a list of eight tools journalists can use to create maps, timelines and other visualisations, to help tell stories. They included MapBox – which the Financial Times has started using recently – TikiToki, Tableau and many others.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.
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#Tip: Get the opensource Chartbuilder for simplifying graphics

By Jorge Fran Ganillo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Jorge Fran Ganillo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Well designed graphics are a quick and easy way to convey complex data or statistics to readers, but creating them quickly and easily is not always so simple.

Over at the Nieman Journalism Lab, Quartz reporter David Yanofsky explains how Chartbuilder is now open-source, helping “all of our reporters and editors become more responsible for their own content and less dependent on others with specialized graphics skills”. It could do the same for your newsroom.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link.
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#Tip: Video of data visualisation tools tutorial at #ijf13

At the International Journalism Festival in Perugia late last month, a tutorial was delivered by freelance information visualiser Gregor Aisch, on three key tools for building data visualisations “on a shoestring”.

Video of the workshop has been uploaded to YouTube by the festival and is also embedded below. The tutorial covered three platforms: Datawrapper, QGis and Tableau.

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Visualisation shows the topics New York Times journalists are writing about

The Visual Communication Lab, part of the IBM Center for Social Sofware has created a site to provide a visualisation to show what subjects New York Times journalists are writing about.

NYT Writes, created by research developer Irene Ros, allows users to enter a subject and see a visualisation of the journalists who have written on that subject.

This post on the VCL blog explains what the visualisation shows.

There are a few things that you will see once the search is complete. First, on the left side of the screen you will see a stack of bubbles at varying sizes. Each bubble represents a term, or “facet”, that was used to describe one or more articles containing your search query.

Facets get manually attached to each article by the New York Times staff. An article about “Tsunami” might be tagged as being about “Natural Disasters,” for example. The size corresponds to the relative amount of times that tag appeared comparing to all the other facets collected from all other articles in the query set.

You can mouse over each bubble to see the tag name appear in the middle as well as how much it appeared relative to the other facets below the stack itself. This stack could also represent what I call a “dedicated writer” – someone who only writes about one topic for 30 days would have a similar stack to this one.

You can try out NYT Writes at this link

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – visualisation tools

February 25th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Data, Top tips for journalists

Poynter has put together this helpful ‘how to’ offering ideas on ways to use free data visualisation tools to enhance storytelling online, suitable for a variety of different data sets. 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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#ge2010: Times experiments with news and polls tracker

May 7th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

As part of its election coverage the Times attempted to chart the relationship between the news agenda, represented by Times reports and articles, and the political parties’ perfomances in the polls.

It looks like this:

And works like this:

Each bubble in the above graph is a news story. Its size reflects the number of comments it received on our site, and its position (on the y axis) indicates the number of recommendations the story received. (The basic idea here is that, the higher and larger the bubble, the more ‘important’ the news story, assuming that larger, more important stories tend to get commented on and recommended more.) Colours show to which party a story relates. The lines show (depending on the tab) either Populus polling results, or the number of seats the parties were predicted to win during the campaign based on Ladbrokes odds, which are used elsewhere on the site.

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MSN News UK: Heat map of MPs’ expenses

May 19th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Multimedia

MSN has created a heat map of MPs’ expenses claims between April 2007 and March 2008 – see screengrab below.

MSN UK's heatmap of MPs' expenses

Full map at this link…

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