Tag Archives: storytelling

Data storytelling done right: 8 easy tips to avoid bad visualisation

tesselationIn a guest post for OJB, Steve Carufel interviews Dutch data journalist Thomas de Beus about visualisation, storytelling — and useful new tools for data journalists.

Data journalism is, among other things, the art of resisting the temptation to show spectacular visualisations that fail to highlight the data behind a story.

Insights and relevant statistics can get lost in visual translation, so Thomas de BeusColourful Facts is a great place to start thinking more about clarity and your audience — and less about spectacular graphic design (although you do not want to forego attractiveness entirely). Continue reading

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No, I’m not abandoning the term “storytelling”, Alberto — just the opposite (and here’s why)

A digital storyteller looks like this

digital storyteller image by Darren Kuropatwa

Alberto Cairo provoked quite a bit of reaction this week when he tweeted that data journalism and data visualisation ought to abandon the term “storytelling”…

Given that in two weeks I’ll be doing exactly the opposite (my first intake of MA students begin a new module in Narrative at the end of the month) I thought I should add my own reaction. Continue reading

Elections08: Storytelling with public databases

Written by Wilbert Baan

Today is the day of the US elections. I don’t think we ever had a live event on the web that will get so much live coverage. This means incredible amounts of information will be published over all kind of services and social networks. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, WordPress, Blogger and many more.

Most popular web services have programmable interfaces. These interfaces allow developers to extract information out of the system. This creates a whole new genre of storytelling: storytelling with public databases. You can aggregate the information you need and sort it the way you want.

To prove the concept I made three small mock-ups. They all use search.twitter.com to see how people voted.

When I made the first the first animation Erik Borra replied by developing the idea into something that stores the data retrieved from Twitter in a database. I made a new interface that shows a graph based on what people say they voted on Twitter. And the result is a Twitter Poll.

These three examples are not representative data, it is extracted from Twitter. But it shows you how much personal and valuable information is in the public database. All you have to do is ask yourself what you want to tell to your readers and if this information is available.

I voted

This animation gets the latest twitter message where someone says they voted on McCain or Obama. It automatically refreshes. Continue reading