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GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Dam Disaster in Laos, Global Star Gazing, Why We Love Pie Charts

What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from July 23 to 29 finds @NadiehBremer visualizing beautiful constellations imagined by different cultures, @mslima diving deep into why we love pie charts, @leigh_tami18 explaining the various methods of joining datasets, and the Reuters Graphic’s team visualization of a dam disaster in Laos.

Same Sky, Different Figures

Nadieh Bremer has created gorgeous interactive visualizations of how different cultures imagine different constellations from the same stars in the sky.

Why Humans Love Pie Charts

Statistician and computer scientist Leland Wilkinson said that pie charts “have been reviled by statisticians (unjustifiably)” and “adored by managers (unjustifiably).” Here, Manuel Lima, a design lead at Google, takes a look at historical and evolutionary perspectives of why pie charts are popular despite their shortcomings.

Joining Datasets

City of Cincinnati Chief Performance Officer Leigh Tami used drawings of a person wearing a coat to explain the joining of two data sets and when to use each: left join, right join, inner join or outer join.

Testing Stories on Mobile

With readers increasingly spending more time on mobile devices, it is extremely important to test your storytelling and data visualization on mobile platforms. Data journalist Angelo Zehr’s tutorial teaches you how to emulate different smartphones on your computer without the need to buy any devices.

Building a Slackchat Tool

Politico’s Jon McClure and Lily Mihalik share the philosophy, design and front-end-focused parts of building Politico’s open-source Slackchat tool.

Visualizing a Dam Collapse

A dam collapsed in a remote part of land-locked Laos, sending a torrent of 500 million cubic meters of water downstream. The wall of water tore through low-lying villages and flooded large areas. Reuters Graphics visualizes how the Laos dam disaster unfolded.

Quantifying Data Journalism’s Impact

Is all impact good impact? And how do you quantify it? Paul Bradshaw discusses the different types of impact data journalism can create, in an extended extract from the forthcoming second edition of the Data Journalism Handbook.

Pakistan’s Women Power

In a data-driven analysis, journalist Abdul Salam Afridi found that women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, an administrative province in Pakistan, were outperforming their male counterparts. On average, the female assembly members pushed through twice as many resolutions from 2013 to 2018.

Recycling Plastics Performance

According to the European Commission, Europeans buy some 49 million tons of plastic every year and throw away half of it – 27.1 million tons of plastic were discarded in 2016. While some European countries are recycling much of their plastics, others are lagging behind, including countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. (In French.)

Course: How to Find Great Stories in Data

Have you signed up for Knight Center’s Intro to R for Journalists course yet? It’s not too late to catch up with Andrew Ba Tran’s teachings. The material you’ll need to get a sense of all the possibilities for programming in R is neatly organized in this website.

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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