For decades, environmentalists have dreamed about climate-friendly transportation. The arrival of hybrid and electric vehicles have brought us one step closer to traveling without damaging the planet. And this year, a California start-up promises to push the technology even further by rolling out the first mass-produced solar-powered car. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from February 22 to 28, which tracks the most popular data journalism stories on Twitter, found a visual explainer by The Washington Post of how the car works and how far it can travel. We also feature a Guardian investigation into deaths of migrant workers in Qatar, a cross-border project revealing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s influence in Eastern Europe, and a creative infographic about animals in space.
What would Batman’s car look like if it ran on solar energy? A California company has an answer. Aptera Motors has promised to roll out the first mass-produced solar car this year. If successful, this vehicle could revolutionize climate-friendly transportation. With a series of graphics, The Washington Post explains how the car works and how it compares to gas, hybrid, and electric machines.
The first mass-produced solar-powered cars are slated to roll off the assembly line this year. Could this be a breakthrough in climate-friendly transportation? https://t.co/S0uljNosRU
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 25, 2021
Animals in Space
In more than six decades of space exploration, humanity has sent people, robots, and even a car into orbit. But do you know how many live creatures have taken part in space missions? Designer Federica Fragapane made this creative data visualization to explore the numbers of primates, rats, and insects sent into space.
— Federica Fragapane (@fedfragapane) February 24, 2021
Since conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took office for the second time in 2010, his government has paid at least 670 million euros ($806 million) in grants to Hungarian organizations abroad, according to findings by the “Greater Hungary” cross-border investigative project. The editorial team includes outlets from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Croatia. Their investigation is based on scraped data and documents about the largest Hungarian state fund. You can find an overview of the project and read more about its findings on this platform.
In 10 years the Hungarian government paid at least 670 million euros of grants to national minority organisations abroad –– based on decisions by a government fund totalling at more than 1,4 billion euros. https://t.co/DSynkNcBbW
— Atlatszo.hu (@Atlatszo) February 27, 2021
Reporting with Data in Uganda
In 2019, Caleb Okereke, a Nigerian journalist based in Uganda, co-founded Minority Africa with the goal of using data-driven reporting to tell stories from across the continent. The outlet was well-received thanks to its dedication to slow news and in-depth coverage. Still, the team faced a major challenge in finding a sustainable revenue model to keep the outlet going, especially in the middle of a pandemic. In a piece for Poynter, Okereke talks about the lessons he learned while running a newsroom and writes that media companies may benefit from incorporating online courses alongside their journalism.
“The future of media hinges on our ability to go beyond breaking the news, and to unbreak it, as well. We must give context and background to audiences about what a policy means to them, or what it means to certain groups of people.” My piece on @Poynterhttps://t.co/LYu2WK55Og
— Caleb Somtochukwu Okereke (@CalebOkereke) February 19, 2021
Open Your Windows
One of the most efficient ways to limit the spread of the coronavirus is quite straightforward — allowing proper ventilation. As authorities in the US and other countries work on plans to safely reopen schools, The New York Times illustrates why opening windows is a crucial measure to protect students and teachers in the classroom. The Times’ comprehensive simulation of airflow demonstrates how ventilation can reduce the level of contamination in closed spaces.
The CDC is urging schools to reopen as soon as possible, but questions of proper ventilation remain.
The New York Times worked with experts to understand the simple steps schools can take to reduce coronavirus exposure in the classroom. https://t.co/d6Bxeow2vX
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 28, 2021
World Cup 2022: Dying in Qatar
When Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, there were concerns about an elite sports competition taking place in a country with consistently high temperatures. In an attempt to create more acceptable conditions for athletes, Qatar started building stadiums with comprehensive air-conditioning systems in addition to other major construction projects. But an investigation by The Guardian found that more than 6,500 migrant workers from five South Asian nations have died in the ten years since Qatar won the bid. Its analysis also shows that the total death toll is significantly higher.
Revealed: 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar as it gears up for World Cup https://t.co/ENKDyqmJqb
— The Guardian (@guardian) February 23, 2021
Journalists Can Be Vulnerable, Too
For many journalists, working in a fast-paced newsroom environment is exciting. But as the years go by, the endless flow of deadlines, long hours, and high workload inevitably cause stress and can threaten a reporter’s emotional and mental well-being. In this interview, Mar Cabra, former head of the data team at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, talks about walking away from journalism despite sharing a Pulitzer Prize. She argues that journalists should be allowed to be vulnerable without fearing that this feeling could undermine their authority and professionalism.
Mar Cabra: We need to disassociate from the idea that being vulnerable means not being a good journalist https://t.co/iZzbUjl9HV
— WAN-IFRA (@NewspaperWorld) February 23, 2021
Lessons from Facebook vs. Australia
In mid-February, Facebook blocked Australian users from accessing news on its platform amid a dispute over a new law that would require tech giants to pay publishers for content. The experiment was short-lived and, after a deal with Australian authorities, the company lifted its blockade. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation analyzed data on how the temporary ban affected news sites across the country.
Facebook's news ban 'experiment' is almost over. Here's what we've learnt https://t.co/mKddYZ7nHH
— ABC News (@abcnews) February 23, 2021
Mapping the US Presidential Election
You have probably looked at more than enough maps depicting the outcome of last year’s US presidential election by now. But this visualization by cartographer Kenneth Field is on another level with its attention to detail. Each dot on Field’s map represents one of the 158 million people who voted.
A 1 dot per vote 2020 US Presidential election map (>158 million dots)
Hi-res print (36" wide): https://t.co/A5EFX0aBDC
Thumbnail below. pic.twitter.com/MQzq96tcLS
— Kenneth Field (@kennethfield) February 22, 2021
Data-Driven Instagram Filters
If you enjoy Instagram filters, you may be pleasantly surprised by the ways in which augmented reality can complement data-driven journalism. Inspired by The New York Times’ You Draw It series, German outlet Deutsche Welle built a fun tool enabling users to interact with a chart by moving their head. In this blog post, DW’s team also gives tips on creating a successful filter.
Tilt your head for higher wages: In our new blog post, @da_spaeth, @evopez, @andygiefer & the #DWLab team document their experiments with #AR #Instagram #Filters to create interactive #DDJ stories.https://t.co/UDK4quuiY6
— DW Innovation (@dw_innovation) February 22, 2021
Peter Georgiev is GIJN’s social media and engagement editor. Previously, he was part of NBC News’ investigative unit in New York. He also worked as a correspondent for Bulgarian National Television and his reporting has been published by The Guardian, Deutsche Welle, and other international outlets.
For a look at NodeXL’s mapping on #ddj and data journalism on Twitter, check out this map.