GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Pollution in China, Visualizing Punctuation and the World Cup

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What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from June 25 to July 1 finds @FinancialTimes’ timelapse map of pollution over China, @mcrosasb‘s choice of five World Cup 2018 visualizations, and @Internews‘ overview of its data journalism projects in developing country newsrooms.

Is China’s Pollution Problem Blowing Over?

The skies over China have been a little less smoggy of late. But does that mean that the “smogocalypse” threat is over? The Financial Times collated NASA satellite data showing concentrations of nitrogen dioxide over China from January 2005 to May 2018 and found a resurgence in a common air pollutant.

Sweating the Small Stuff: Visualizing Punctuation

Most people think of a novel as a collection of words. Adam J Calhoun thinks a little differently. “I wondered what my favorite books look like without words,” he wrote in a post on Medium. So he took the words away and visualized the punctuation in some well-loved novels, including adding heatmaps. The post was originally from 2016 but has enjoyed a resurgence of interest on Twitter.

12 Reasons to Keep Loving Web Graphics  

Elliot Bentley, who makes interactive graphics for The Wall Street Journal, recently wrote an article in defense of interactives. It’s difficult not to notice an industry-wide trend away from them, he wrote. So he listed 12 example of things web graphics can do that traditional article or static images can’t.

US: Creating The Segregation Map

Want to know what it takes to create a story like American is More Diverse Than Ever – But Still Segregated? The Data Journalism Den spoke to Aaron Williams, who worked on the story for The Washington Post, about what inspired the story, the help they got from academics and the decisions they made about maps.

Mapped: Deadliest Roads in Brittany

With nearly 1,000 fatal accidents on departmental roads in Brittany between 2012 and 2018, French daily Le Télégramme mapped out which sections were the most dangerous.

What One Nonprofit Did to Bring Data to Newsrooms

Internews, the media development nonprofit, has produced a website to showcase its work in the field of data journalism. You can read about its approach to bringing data journalism to newsrooms in developing countries around the world. And see some of the projects it’s worked on in Kenya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central America.

5 World Cup 2018 Visualizations

From the many and varied visualizations made about this year’s football tournament in Russia, @mcrosasb has chosen five, including FiveThirtyEight’s real-time predictions, the Telegraph’s visualization comparing teams and their players’ worth, and National Geographic’s look at foreign-born players.

Election in Turkey: Erdogan’s Power Base

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung put together an in-depth analysis of the Turkish election results, where Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured most of the votes in the central provinces, whereas the western and eastern provinces favored opposition candidates.

Netzwerk Recherche Sessions 

Recordings of some of the sessions at this year’s Netzwerk Recherche conference held in Berlin and Munich are available online.  If you understand German, and you want to hear what media creators had to say about the influence digital developments have had on our lives, take a look at the Spreerunde site.


Thanks, once again, to Marc Smith of Connected Action for gathering the links and graphing them.

Laura Grant is filling in for GIJN’s Eunice Au, while she is on leave. She is a managing partner of the Media Hack Collective, a Johannesburg-based digital journalism initiative. She is the former associate editor of digital and data projects at the Mail & Guardian and teaches digital journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

For a look at Marc Smith’s mapping on #ddj on Twitter, check out this map.

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