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Posts Tagged ‘maps’

3 Reasons the Updated Google Trends Tool Will Benefit Journalists

This week, Google announced that it is merging its Google Trends and Insights for Search into one Google Trends tool.

From Google’s blog post announcing the move:

Now we are merging Insights for Search into Google Trends, wrapping it all up in a clean new interface to give you a clearer view of what’s on the world’s mind. The new Google Trends now includes features from both products and makes it easier and more intuitive to dig into the data.

Both Google Trends and Insights for Search have been useful tools in the industry for years, offering journalists a way to see popular search terms and compare keywords, respectively.

While each tool has separate and distinct functions, there are benefits to packaging them into one super tool. Here are three reasons journalists will benefit from this update:

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Once Upon A Datum: How To Create Visual Interactives In News Time

BOSTON — This afternoon at the Online News Association conference, Associated Press interactives producer Michelle Minkoff and WNYC’s data news director John Keefe held a hands-on, learn-by-doing session about creating quick data visualizations on a newsroom deadline.

Using free, open source tools and data sets, the barrier to entry for creating usable visualizations is lower than ever.

Michelle showed the audience how to make an interactive chart that graphs crime data using Google Chart Tools. She posted a full tutorial on her website and the downloadable source code for the visualization. Here are the key links you need to build a chart yourself:

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A Data Visualization of U.S. Newspaper History

A few weeks ago, I shared a link to the coolest way to visually see what’s news around the world. Now, here comes an interesting way to see what was news. Well, rather, who was covering the news and when in the U.S. It’s a data visualization of newspapers past. And it’s pretty cool, if somewhat depressing.

The Rural West Initiative at Standford University created the map by plotting the U.S. Library of Congress catalog of newspapers (140,000 publications??) over time and space. These are the results (click to see the real maps).

Through the sidebar content as you scroll through the timeline, you get a feel for the different “eras” of newspapering, from the colonies to the frontier to yellow journalism and merger mania. It’s actually somewhat encouraging to read about the journalism crises of decades/centuries past. Being a journalist these days can see like you’re in the worst of times, but really, newspapers and journalism is just constantly evolving, and as you see in the map, it ebbs and it flows.

If nothing else, you’ll find interesting bits of local history when you zoom in and discover who was covering your town. You might be surprised how many newspapers small cities used to support.

(Found via Freakonomics blog.)

A real-time, geotagged Flickr map? Here’s how.

When reporters are in the field with their smartphones and they have a story to tell where both photo and location are vital, a stream of Flickr photos imported into a Google Map will do the trick.


In light of Los Angeles’ recent Carmageddon, above is a geotagged Flickr map of the empty 405 highway.

For example, if you have a reporter covering a huge parade, a bike tour, travelling along the coastline, taking a wine tour across the country, or you want to collect reader photos from a highway closure — really, the use cases are endless — an easy way to get interactive, live content from the field is through a Flickr map. And, you can accomplish it all from email, with no extra apps or training required. Read more

Newspaper Map: The coolest way to visually surf newspapers

If you have work to do today, don’t click on this link. No really. This — Newspaper Map — is quite possibly the coolest way to visually surf newspapers online that I’ve ever seen. It’s my new favorite use of Google Maps and one of the most original and ambitious uses I’ve seen: Practically every newspaper in the world — 10,000+ spanning every continent and many languages — is represented.

I can’t stop tweaking it and playing around with the settings. You can sort by language — only English, por favor? Or by address/city/country/etc. I’ve pretty much just enjoyed twirling through the globe in search of the most obscure or isolated newspapers. It’s fascinating, for example, that there are two publications in tiny Tahiti: Les Nouvelles de Tahiti and Tahiti-Pacifique. You can even load it on your smart phone and play around with the app version. Here’s a look at the US English papers to give you an idea of how extensive their listing is:

If you go to the map and click on one of the dots, it brings up a pop-up with a link to the page, a screenshot of the homepage, and links to social media sites affiliated with the page. It also — and this is especially cool when you’re looking at papers in languages you don’t speak — offers to translate the site.

From what I can tell, it’s not new (I saw some references to the site from January), but it’s new to me.  Thanks to David Carr of the NYT for linking to this map on Twitter. I saw it there first, and lots of places after that.

It’s not flawless, either. For example, under major newspapers it lists a bunch of suburan Cincinnatti papers, but not the Indianapolis Star? In fact, the Indy Star wasn’t appearing at all in Indiana, but seemed to be in the database somewhere. (I couldn’t get the add/correct a link page to work for me in Firefox, so if someone else has better luck, please fix this.) But it’s great that they are crowd sourcing to find the papers they missed or don’t know about. And honestly, it does seem a relatively complete collection.

So enjoy your lunch hour or waste the afternoon looking at the map and discovering papers and news from across the world. Want to follow Newspaper Map updates? They’re even on Twitter and Facebook.