In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban. As the US prepares to withdraw its troops later this year, some are counting the toll of a 20-year war. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from May 10 to 16, which tracks the week’s most popular data journalism stories on Twitter, found an interactive project by Al Jazeera showcasing the impact of a conflict that has directly claimed an estimated 241,000 lives. In this edition, we also feature an IStories piece on the difficulties Russian kids have getting to school, an InfoCongo investigation into deaths tied to gold mining, and a visual vocabulary for data projects by the Financial Times.
The Road to School in Russia
In Russia, tens of thousands of schoolchildren travel through snow, dust, and mud to get to the classroom, with many of them living more than 50 kilometers, or 30 miles, from the nearest institution. Sometimes the roads are so impassable they need to go on foot. IStories published this data-driven project featuring maps, images, and graphics to explain why in 2021 access to education remains difficult for so many Russian students.
Километры по снегу, пыли, грязи, вдоль трасс или просто через лес и поле — так в нашей стране выглядит дорога в школу у почти 100 тысяч детей.
— Важные истории (@istories_media) May 14, 2021
Gold Mining Pits
At least 150 people have died after falling into the abandoned gold mining pits that dot Cameroon’s forests. A data investigation published by InfoCongo found that while deaths regularly occur in the country’s main gold mining regions, many of these sites have not been rehabilitated, presenting a danger for local communities.
🆕 At least 150 people have died in hazardous pits abandoned by the gold mines that are decimating Cameroon’s forests
— Ngeunga Madeleine (@NgeungaM) May 11, 2021
Capitol Riot Investigation
On January 6, far-right activists, white supremacists, and hardcore loyalists of then-President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. The attack has prompted one of the most complex investigations in the country’s history, with more than 400 people were arrested. The Washington Post created a “deep-dive visualization” to detail what we know so far about the suspects and what they’ve been charged with.
A sprawling investigation: What we know so far about the Capitol riot suspects
— Matea Gold (@mateagold) May 13, 2021
In the UK, hundreds of thousands of people receive nursing care at home. But an investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that more than 25,000 people patients in this group — made up of the elderly, the disabled, and the sick — died during the coronavirus pandemic. Its data shows deaths among those receiving care at home more than doubled in England compared to the previous year, but received much less national attention than what was happening inside care homes themselves.
— The Bureau Local (@bureaulocal) May 10, 2021
The Toll of a 20-Year War
Since the US invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, almost a quarter of a million people have died in circumstances directly linked to the conflict. Hundreds of thousands more have died due to hunger, disease, and injury. Al Jazeera produced a series of graphics to show the impact of two decades of conflict, highlighting how this is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for children.
🇦🇫 #Afghanistan continues to be one of the deadliest places in the world to be a child.
At least 71,344 civilians have died in the US-led war since 2001.
Here are 9 graphics that show the impact of 20 years of war.
— Mohammed Haddad (@haddadme) May 10, 2021
Radicalization in Germany
The pandemic has accelerated the spread of hate speech and right-wing extremism through social media in Germany. The newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung examined almost 12 million Telegram messages showing how conspiracy myths, agitation, and racism combine to form a toxic mixture in the networks. Some groups have pushed conspiracy ideologies and hatred since the beginning of the crisis. This online activity has also sparked aggressive behavior in the streets, which the newspaper highlights can no longer be overlooked.
Für die @SZ haben wir fast 12 Millionen Nachrichten aus 967 Kanälen ausgewertet. Von Corona-kritisch, bis zu hin zu verschwörungsideologisch und rechtsextrem. Unsere Ergebnisse, ein Thread. https://t.co/hRhKN6Igyx (1/7)
— Antonie Rietzschel (@arietzschel) May 10, 2021
As climate change slowly impacts seasonal temperatures across the US, California has extended a drought emergency notice originally declared in April. Summer heat over the next few months could trigger more wildfires, which devastated parts of the state in recent years. The Financial Times examined data from the US Drought Monitor to illustrate the influence of global warming on the nation’s most populous state.
Temperatures across much of the US have increased over the past 30 years, rising by about 0.55C or more in many areas, compared with the average for the 20th century — and we can already feel the consequences https://t.co/Qne7EWI8OR pic.twitter.com/kzfGjnjAW4
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) May 14, 2021
Myanmar’s Rich Generals
In February, Myanmar’s
Two sprawling military conglomerates run almost everything in Myanmar, from banks to the gems trade. Here’s how the army built its vast empire. https://t.co/faEGJt3e43
— Bloomberg Graphics (@BBGVisualData) May 10, 2021
The Polish Goal Machine
Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich’s prolific goalscorer, has had a sensational season in the German soccer league, the Bundesliga. Last weekend, the Polish striker scored his 40th goal in the campaign, equaling a long-standing record set by German legend Gerd Müller in 1972. Der Spiegel published a special graphics project to examine the numbers behind Lewandowski’s phenomenal achievement.
— Patrick Stotz (@PatrickStotz) May 15, 2021
Working on a data visualization story? This Visual Vocabulary by the Financial Times’ data graphics team can help you choose the best design approach to make informative and meaningful charts and graphics. The guide covers everything from heat maps to boxplots.
Financial Times' Visual and Data Journalism team has put together a fantastic “Visual Vocabulary”! 🙌
📥 Input: Data relationship important to your story
📤 Output: Type of charthttps://t.co/yWEn2kWw5l
— Indrajeet Patil (@patilindrajeets) May 16, 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.