How to: use maps effectively to explain stories

Image of the project BIG TIME BCN by 300.000 Km/s about Barcelona’s Heritage Catalogue.

Everybody loves maps, which makes them an attractive tool for journalists. Geography professors Sébastien Caquard and William Cartwright have analysed the relationship between maps and narratives, and they agree that maps are an extraordinary tool to explain stories. “The potential of maps to both decipher and tell stories is virtually unlimited. Maps can contribute to leaving cartographic …

Eight data journalism projects to get inspired

Captura de pantalla 2016-03-07 a las 12.54.36

Data journalism turns spreadsheets into visualisations that can show stories impossible to explain otherwise. I have asked several data journalists about their favourite projects and have listed their responses. 1. Out of sight, out of mind Out of Sight, Out of Mind (2013)  visualises every known attack with drones by the US in Pakistan between 2004 …

Kumu.io, a data visualisation tool to shape complex relationships

Austin Social Entrepreneurship is one of the projects that has used Kumu.io

As journalists know, connections can be key when investigating a person, company or government. Kumu.io is a free tool to visualise easily relationships or organisational charts. These diagrams can be useful to illustrate a story or to organise notes and findings. How to use Kumu.io First of all, you need to create an account. Go to the main page of …

Common mistakes journalists make when using statistics

Book "How to lie with statistitcs"

(Image by Carla Pedret©) Statistics are everywhere, and journalists – especially data journalists – should know how to interpret them. Numbers are like any other source, and journalists should have the knowledge to find out when they are misleading. How can journalists improve their use of statistics? What are the most common mistakes? As statisticians are the best ones to answer …

How to: convert KML into other formats with Open Refine

Original image by GotCredit/Flickr

Original image by GotCredit/Flickr Maps are a powerful tool to visualise data because they can explain stories with a high level of detail. You can show the data within countries, regions or even electoral wards. The only thing you need to know is how to work with KML files. The open source data cleaning tool Open Refine can help …

The best podcasts about data journalism

Image by Carla Pedret

Image by Carla Pedret© Podcasts are a great way to find stories and to be entertained. However, have you ever thought about using them to learn data journalism? In this list, I have collected some of the best podcasts about data. Some are specifically about data journalism, whereas others approach data from an innovative perspective. ProPublica Podcast ProPublica interviews every week …

How to: use Open Refine to open a rebel CSV file

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Image by Craig Chew-Moulding/Flickr CSV files are a common format when working with spreadsheets. The process to open a CSV file is really easy and usually takes only a couple of minutes, as this tutorial shows. However, what can you do if the standard process fails? You can use Open Refine, a powerful tool that can help …

How to: open a CSV file with Excel

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(Image by r2hox/Flickr) CSV – comma separated values  – is a common format for datasets. Excel or the free spreadsheet software Google Sheets can open them easily and, in some cases, automatically. Open your CSV file with Excel. You will get a messy data set without format, but don’t panic: that is how a CSV should look like. Select …

Basic maths for data journalists to find stories in spreadsheets

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Image by Tom Brown/Flickr Data journalists should know how to use Excel or the free spreadsheet software Google sheets to clean and process data. Some data sets will tell us a story with only some sorting or creating a pivot table while others require some maths. In this post, you will find some examples of basic formulas to analyse data and find stories …

15 Twitter accounts every data journalist should follow

Picture: Carla Pedret

Image by Carla Pedret© Anyone interested in data journalism – also called data-driven journalism or #ddj – should know who are the experts in the field. Twitter is a good place to follow them and also to find training, tips and inspiration. The following list compiles 15 Twitter accounts from all over the world that every data …

What journalists need to know to fly a drone

Some of the drones that BBC team brought to the session (Photo: Barbara Maseda)

Drones, also called unmanned aerial systems (UAS), can provide spectacular views for TV production otherwise unobtainable. The BBC has a team of operators especially trained to use drones. In a special BBC Academy Fusion session, members of this team explained what journalists should take into account when using drones in their stories. 1. A toy with CAA permission The control system …