GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Nike’s Vaporflys, Trump’s Trade War, FastCharts, Datapasta

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What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from July 16 to 22 finds @UpshotNYT confirming Nike’s claim that their Vaporflys really do give runners an advantage, @MilesMcBain making some data journalists very happy with Datapasta, @WSJGraphics visualizing Trump’s escalating trade war, and @FinancialTimes looking at Britain’s surprising digital divide while touting its new chart-making tool.

Faster Running Shoes

If a running shoe made you 25, 10 or even 2 percent faster, would it be fair to wear it in a race? Nike says its Vaporfly shoes are about 4 percent better than some of its best racing shoes. The New York Times tested Nike’s claim by analyzing public race reports and shoe records from Strava, a fitness app, and found that runners wearing Vaporflys have a real advantage over competitors not wearing them.

Trump’s Trade War

The Trump administration’s use of tariffs on imported goods started slowly but has broadened in recent weeks. The Wall Street Journal (@WSJGraphics) looks at the growing impact of the escalating trade war.


The Financial Times has a tool to create simple charts  in its newsroom — simpler than using Excel or Google Sheets, they say. Amanda Gordon and Ashoor Namrood explain the process of how FastCharts was created.

Rural: Faster Internet?

Worldwide, digital rights advocates fret about a digital divide — the gap in internet speeds between rural and urban areas, with urban areas having faster access. However, in Great Britain, it is the reverse. An analysis by the Financial Times shows that consumers in some of the most rural areas enjoy broadband speeds considerably faster than those in the middle of London or Manchester.


Datapasta reduces resistance associated with copying and pasting data to and from R. It was created by Miles McBain, a code hacker, number cruncher and #rstats user after he found himself using intermediate programs like Sublime to turn text into suitable formats.

Resources: Design, Data and Code

Lena Groeger, a designer and developer at ProPublica, collated a big list of resources for design, data and coding that is suitable for beginners.

Women Data Journalists

At Data Beers Barcelona, Story Data Barcelona presented their project on women in #ddj and released a spreadsheet and map of women data journalists. At the same event, a brand new website that lists data journalists from Spain and Latin America was launched as an initiative of Master in Innovation in Journalism, Miguel Hernández University.

Staying on Home Soil

An analysis by OBC Transeuropa found that a third of Europeans have never traveled abroad. This is more often the case in Southeast Europe, but also in Italy, Spain and Poland, where more than 50 percent of the population have never crossed national borders in their lifetime.

German Rental Market is Broken

Germany’s real estate prices and rents have risen at an insane pace in many cities in recent years and have made housing a crucial social issue of our time. Süddeutsche Zeitung crowdsourced real life stories and ended up with 57,000 responses that painted a depressing picture of Germany’s rental market, especially for single parents. (In German.)

Second Home Cities

Cities along the coast of Brittany, France, enjoy an influx of tourists in the summer but in the winter they become ghost villages. Le Télégramme found that these cities, which have a high percentage of second homes, correlate to the median age of residents there. Cities with a larger number of second homes tend to have an older median age among residents. (In French.)

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

Eunice Au is GIJN’s program coordinator. Previously, she was a Malaysia correspondent for Singapore’s The Straits Times, and a journalist at the New Straits Times. She has also written for The Sun, Malaysian Today and Madam Chair.

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

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