How to Expose Lies from the Skies Using Satellites and Drones

In a GIJC21 session on using maps and satellite imagery for investigations, three experts explained their approaches to analyzing satellite and drone images, and using open source tools. One of the innovative techniques described led to a Pulitzer Prize this year — for exposing China’s network of Muslim detention centers — while another exposed government deception about fires in the Amazon, and a third literally put a vulnerable community in Africa on the map.

Deepfake Geography: How AI Can Now Falsify Satellite Images

With more sophisticated AI technologies emerging, researchers warn that “deepfake geography” could become a growing problem. As a result, a team of researchers that set out to identify new ways of detecting fake satellite photos warn of the dangers of falsified geospatial data and call for a system of geographic fact-checking.

Data Journalism Top 10: Beirut Blast, Predicting Crime, US Election Simulators, and COVID in Ukraine

What was the magnitude of the Beirut port blast and how did it compare to other infamous explosions in history? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from August 31 to September 6 finds Reuters illustrating just how powerful last month’s blast was in relation to the Chernobyl disaster and other explosions. The Tampa Bay Times highlighted how a county sheriff’s office is using an algorithm to supposedly predict and intercept the criminals of the future, while The New York Times used satellite maps to show how physical and political geographies interact across the United States. ESPN has been looking into the potential of people in college football crowds to become COVID-19 super-spreaders, and Slate analyzed the overuse of the word “murmur” in the popular Twilight novel series.

Data Journalism Top 10: Unequal Pandemic Impact, COVID Contracts, Tainted Water, Data Ethics

Which communities are most economically affected by the coronavirus pandemic? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from May 25 to 31 finds the Toronto Star looking at the effects of Canada’s lockdown on different communities in the country, ProPublica sharing a tool that lets you explore United States federal government contracts related to the coronavirus, the Financial Times analyzing excess mortality in 19 countries, and the Knight Center for the Journalism in the Americas offering a free online course on ethics in data journalism.

GIJN’s Data Journalism Top 10: Luanda Leaks, A Disappeared Lake, Animated Graphics, Data Mapping, NICAR

What’s the global data journalism community tweeting about this week? Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from January 13 to 19 finds the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists exposing how Africa’s richest woman really made her fortune, The Washington Post using satellite imagery to show the disappearance of an entire lake in the Philippines, El País sharing the behind-the-scenes process of their work, and Mike Reilley curating a mega list of useful data journalism tools.