Data Journalism Top 10: National Geographic Maps, Capitol Riots, Flu vs. Coronavirus, Happiness Index, Black Market Data

Scenes of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump storming the US Capitol building dominated news headlines and filled social media feeds last week. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from January 4 to 10 found Reuters producing a play-by-play summary of what happened, and FiveThirtyEight examining the stark difference in reaction by the authorities to the Capitol mob compared to Black Lives Matter protesters. Also in this edition, we feature National Geographic’s cartography archive, Data Crítica’s investigation into under-counting of Indigenous COVID-19 infections, and The Markup’s analysis of the impact of Facebook’s political ads.

My Favorite Tools: Emmanuel Freudenthal

For the very first story in our new series about journalists’ favorite tools, we spoke with Emmanuel Freudenthal, a freelance investigative reporter based in Nairobi. He told GIJN’s Gaelle Faure all about how he uses virtual tools like GPS Tracks and Gmail Snooze and physical tools like plane-tracking antennas and good old motorbikes.

Planespotting: A Guide to Tracking Aircraft Around the World

Tracking aircraft is an increasingly valuable tool in the arsenal of investigators. Aided by new tracking technologies, journalists have:

Virtually observed a Russian oligarch’s jet making suspicious trips to the Middle East and Africa;
questioned the use of private planes — by Hungary’s president, among others;

If you just need a few quick tips, check out GIJN’s planespotting tipsheet. exposed rendition flights by the Turkish government;
followed the travels of government officials;
learned about military operations;
watched the movements of corporate executives;
analyzed aircraft accidents; and more. Recent years have been golden ones for reporters tracking airplanes. In this GIJN resource you’ll find:

• The basics: How tracking works and why one new disruptive technology is democratizing the information.

Top Ten #DDJ: This Week’s Top Data Journalism

What’s the global #ddj community tweeting about? Our NodeXL mapping from July 10 to 16 has Dwarshuis on the Airbnb takeover of Amsterdam, @blprnt on taking a systems approach to data and @SPIEGELONLINE and @Correctiv_org on Big Pharma’s payments to doctors.