Data visualization as multi-media narrative

I’ve been on a multimedia kick lately, digging for interesting examples of how journalists are telling their stories via this interesting catch-all for pictures, animations and all things that move with words. A multimedia interactive timeline produced back in September, 2010 persists, in my view, as a stellar example. Yes, that was over a year-and-a-half ago, but I challenge you to find anything this good that has come out since.

El Mundo, a Spanish newspaper with a very good data visualization design team, created an interactive data visualization/multi-media narrative recreating the attempts to rescue Chilean miners trapped in the copper-gold mine near Copiapó in August 5, 2010 “Rescate de los mineros chilenos atrapados bajo tierra” (“Rescue of Chilean Miners Trapped Underground”).

Created a month after the successful rescue this piece by David Almeda successfully deconstructs the messy reality of three rescue plans, changing information on the ground, technical obstacles and engineering solutions, as well as the human faces behind the crisis. If I counted correctly, there are about 30 animated frames in this, several of which contain infographics polished enough to be published in their own right. The only thing I’d add to this would be a scrubber with a timeline to allow users to move through this at their own pace and to get a sense of the timing.

This is a solid interactive and a beautifully understated display of process, timelines and information. In our ongoing fascination with data visualization, this reminds me of why I started this blog.

ElMundo_Chilean mining interactive

 

Time travel in Argentina: a new take on interactive timelines

Argentina. Alfajores, Maradona, steak and tango? Yes. A burgeoning data visualization community? Yep. In my occasionally quixotic quest to find out what data viz developers are up to in Latin America, I stumbled across Hacks | Hackers – Buenos Aires.

It seems that they’re drumming up some interesting projects, though nothing concrete to date, though I am looking forward to writing more about their progress. That said, Sandra Crucianelli, a recipient of the noted Knight Foundation fellowship, presented some terrific examples of data visualization projects in Latin America.

One worth mentioning is Proyecto Walsh, an interactive timeline/journalistic experiment which recreates Rodolfo Walsh’s 1956-57 expose on the illegal executions of Peron sympathizers, “Operación Masacre” (Operation Massacre) as an interactive timeline. Well, it’s much more than an interactive timeline but, to me, the timeline is a great hook.

The zoom feature on the interactive timeline, which most of us are more used to seeing in spatial relationships on maps (think: zoom to your house or zoom away to view a city) is used temporally (think: zooming in to a minute; zooming out to a month).

Conceived by journalists Alvaro Liuzzi and Vanina Berghella, this project uses this slick timeline feature as effective navigation through various layers of multimedia, ranging from interactive maps using, of course, Google Maps, to a photo gallery using the Google image search function. It’s fairly complex, and tells the story well. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, it’s worth exploring.

Proyecto Walsh

Proyecto Walsh