Data Journalism Top 10: The Rise of Big Tech, India’s Bad Vaccine Data, Why Data Journalists Need Safeguards

Four of the world’s most influential technology companies are based on the US West Coast. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have had an enormous impact on our daily lives. But how did Big Tech get so big? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from April 19 to April 25 found a piece by The Washington Post showing how the success of these behemoths has been fueled by hundreds of acquisitions of smaller companies over the past decade. In this edition, we also feature an investigation into faulty vaccine data publicized by the Indian government, a list of the world’s top 1,000 climate scientists by Reuters, and a look at Europe’s growing rail network.

Data Journalism Top 10: Ramadan Fasting, Volcanic Eruptions, Climate Change Economics, China’s Forced Labor

Driving an electric car and buying solar panels are things individuals can do to help slow climate change. But according to a new study, most people don’t realize that achieving a real impact on greenhouse emissions requires significant lifestyle sacrifices. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from April 12 to April 18 found a story by the Financial Times showing that the best way in individual can reduce their carbon footprint is to have one less child. We also feature an explainer of Ramadan fasting by Al Jazeera, a look into China’s polysilicon factories by Bloomberg, and Chinese tycoon Jack Ma’s jet-setting ways.

Structuring visual narratives, by Gurman Bhatia

Data Journalism Top 10: Women’s Careers, Vitamin D, Visual Stories, Electric Cars, Japan’s Ghost Towns

On the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 crisis being declared a global pandemic, outlets around the world looked back on how the coronavirus has transformed our lives. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from March 8 to 14 found a comprehensive summary of how the health crisis unfolded in the United States by The Washington Post, and a look at the COVID-19 crisis in Hungary. In this edition, we also feature The Economist’s interactive tool estimating the risk posed by COVID-19 based on a person’s health, a story about the ghost towns in Fukushima by NPR, and an analysis of the future of electric cars by The New York Times.

Data Journalism Top 10: Back to School, Australian Open Underdog, Amazon Oxygen Shortage, Big Tech & Green Energy

How can we get students and teachers safely back into classrooms? For many months, this has been a key question for public authorities, school leaders, and parents around the world. This topic and others topped the data journalism stories on Twitter from February 8 to 14. Check out #ddj stories from The New York Times, NPR, the Financial Times, FiveThirtyEight, and The Pudding.

Data Journalism Top 10: Polarized America, Australia’s Pandemic, Poland’s Toxic Air, the Arab Spring, Life as Lego

Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from January 25 to 31 found interactive projects by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Guardian analyzing these events. In this edition, we also feature environmental reporting by The New York Times and The Economist, a Wall Street Journal story on the GameStop Reddit mania that shook stock markets, and a visual representation of 2020 using Lego bricks.

Data Journalism Top 10 for 2020: COVID-19, Saving the Nile, Shape of Dreams, Visualizations for the Colorblind

For those unfamiliar with GIJN’s Top 10 Data Journalism roundup, each week we select the most popular data journalism items on Twitter. We do this by using NodeXL to map use of the terms #ddj and data journalism, and then add a bit of old-fashioned human curation to highlight the most compelling items. At the end of the year, we survey the entire period and pick the best from hundreds of tweets. This year — the year of the pandemic — in which the coronavirus dominated public conversation and news headlines, our mapping reflects that reality.

Data Journalism Top 10: Chocolate Box Audit, Vaccine Lineup, COVID-19 Antigen Testing, Scraping Is Not a Crime

As the United Kingdom begins its rollout of the first COVID-19 vaccine this week, the world is watching with bated breath. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from November 30 to December 6 found Bloomberg tracking the development of nine of the most promising vaccines around the world, The New York Times creating an interactive for Americans to establish where they are in the line before they can get vaccinated, and Spain’s El Pais examining the advantages of using antigen testing for COVID-19 infections. Meanwhile, ITV News’ Stephen Hull did a fun data analysis of the assorted chocolates in a Quality Street tin.

Data Journalism Top 10: Scented Candles, COVID Risk Simulator, Trump’s Final Regs, Sigma Awards

Are scented candles a casualty of the coronavirus crisis? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from November 23 to 29 found researcher Kate Petrova’s data analysis revealing that scented candles have suffered a blow in online reviews and a decrease in ratings, possibly linked to the coronavirus’ ability to affect people’s sense of smell. Elsewhere, Germany’s Zeit Online created a COVID-19 infection risk calculator, the COVID Tracking Project explained how holidays and weekends disrupt the recording and publishing of virus data, and Reuters analyzed the shortcomings of the coronavirus contact tracing system in England. Meanwhile, the Sigma Awards, which celebrate the world’s best data journalism, have opened for entries.

Data Journalism Top 10: Thanksgiving Dangers, Vaccine Tracker, Crosswords Diversity, Golf Swings, Facebook Fact-checks

Around the world, people are toning down their celebrations in a bid to mitigate spread of the coronavirus. The latest casualty: Thanksgiving. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from November 16 to 22 found FiveThirtyEight’s timely piece explaining the risk of COVID-19 transmission from even small Thanksgiving dinner gatherings. Also popular: The New York Times tracking the status of all vaccine trials in progress, and The Pudding analysis of race and gender in crossword puzzles from five major US news publications.

Data Journalism Top 10: Simple Google Searches, COVID Contracts, Mining Indigenous Land, Nashville Hot Spots, Blackstone in Berlin

Have you ever noticed how your Google search results now appear with boxes of information extracted from the websites by the search engine? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from November 9 to 15 found The Markup’s new “Simple Search” browser extension, which allows you to view the best results in the “traditional” Google search format. We also discovered a visualization of the connection between members of the ruling British Conservative Party and COVID-19 contracts, InfoAmazonia’s investigation into mining requests in protected Indigenous land in the Amazon, and German daily Der Tagesspiegel showing that the American private equity group Blackstone is a major private property owner in the German capital, Berlin.