Sarah Booker


Information is Beautiful – David McCandless #iweu live blog

Filed under: journalism — Sarah Booker Lewis @ 4:39 pm
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Billion Dollar-o-gram


Billion Dollar-o-gram

The Billion Dollar-o-gram from Information is Beautiful by David McCandles



Visualising the massive numbers after scraping data from New York Times and Guardian.

Different colours for different uses of vast amounts of cash.

GIves perspective and shows relationships between spending.

US gives more money than UK

Opec gives a tiny proportion to environment

Money spent on deficit could more than wipe out serious diseases like AIDs.

Relate the money spent on daily items with the tax paid per days.

Shows the break up times Facebook created.

Pure example of data journalism. Saturated by data journalism. Ask the right question it will reveal itself.

Data is the new oil.

Data is the new soil, it’s a creative medium and we create flowers

Mountains out of molehill visualisation showing swine flu, killer wasps, using Google insights to track trends.

Hidden patterns, shows the line for video games. Peaks at the same time of year. November big month for buying.

April is a big month for computer game fear as Colombine anniversary. It’s co-dependent.

Data is a prism to correct vision.

USA military budget bigger than the African debt and UK budget deficit. Can fit all the other top 10s.

Budget as proportion, largest is Myanmar and US is seventh.

Big spenders Jordan, Georgia, Saudi, Kyrgystan, Burundi, Oman…

China has the biggest army. Huge population.

Adjusted biggest army in terms of percentage and the top five are North Korea, Eritrea, Israel, Djibouti, Iraq.

USA 45th. China is 124th.

Visual CV. Journalism images create the story.

Design literacy and language, Looking for patterns and visual relief.

Speak two languages, data and visual.


Data and visuals – with Simon Rogers @datastore #iweu live blog

Filed under: journalism — Sarah Booker Lewis @ 4:34 pm
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Guide to data journalism as Guardian does it.


It’s not new, it has massive interest now byt Florence Nightingale created visuals of troops killed in combat and those who died through disease.


Manchester Guardian data about Manchester schools, information is valuable because without knowing the truth opinions can’t be formed.


Public spending by Government department visual came up with it’s beautiful bubble map images. Guardian send the data images to government departments after ringing round.


Everyone has the tools.


Most of the stuff Guardian does is


Inspired by James Cameron, Guardian journalist for telling stories. Claimed expenses for a camel, worked in Korea and Vietnam.


The new world is a world will be a place of answers and now questions because the only questions left will be answered by computers, because conly computers will know what to ask.


Wikileak Iraq data. Produdced interactive images of IED attacks.


First night of the blitz, firebrigade kept data. Raw data created image but made it beautiful.


Data blog open to help people create visualisations, shared via Flickr group.


Used to be about sitting in an office now there are people with knowledge, crowd sourcing used people who can understand more than journalists in office.


Accounts of words in Beatles songs.


Google Fusion tables.

Put a death in Iraq on a map.



Multimedia: Audio slide shows at News:Rewired

Multimedia journalist Adam Westbrook’s work blew me away at News:Rewired.

I have never really paid much attention to audio slide shows. Building slide shows is a regular part of my working week, but Adam’s interview with John Hirst is unlike anything I have thought possible.

Watch it here: Hirst v. UK from Adam Westbrook on Vimeo

Describing himself as “passionate about the audio slide show” Adam explained how this medium can often tell a story better than any video, with minimal equipment.

“Really rich audio mixed with strong photographs is potent,” he told us.

The story behind the John Hirst slide show started with a video which “wasn’t strong enough”. Good photographs and the audio from the interview was not only cheaper, it was also quicker.

What do you need according to Adam?

  • A great story/character. Work well with portraits.
  • Prospects for good photographs.
  • Potential for great audio with other great atmospheric  sounds such as water sounds or street sounds to give the slide show space to breath.
  • An audio recorder, Digital SLR and Soundslides to build it.

The New York Times One in 8 Million series was given as an example of excellence in the audio slide show.

Characters are found and pre-interviewed. An audio producer records the interview, only then does the photographer take photographs after listening to the audio.

Once everything is put together the images match the words.

It’s so simple and something I would like to use on the websites I am responsible for. However simple creating these things is, a limited number of reporters and hard-pressed photographers may make this difficult in practice.