Category Archives: infographics/data visualizations

Best Interactive Stories: Maps, Graphs, Timelines & Scrollers

The Visual.ly blog made a list of the Top interactive visualizations of  2013. The formats are pretty much the same as in years before: maps, data visualizations, timelines, but this year we have “snowfallers” which is to say scrollers or stories you have to scroll along to navigate.

If you’re interested in this type of structure, there is a spreadsheet with snowfall-like stories available on Google Drive. I doubt the Scroller will become a standard narrative structure, because it doesn’t feel mobile friendly, which in essence is more modular than linear.  But it definitely set a standard for production: lengthy and expensive.

But like David Sleight said:

But there’s a bigger picture that extends beyond debating specific executions and business models. These things are about experimentation: necessary design and technical experimentation, something news organizations need to shine at if they want to thrive. That means stopping to shake out how they think about content, again and again.

In Portugal, the setting is pretty much the same as before: only a couple of media companies are regularly producing multimedia journalistic content. This year the major winners of the ObCiber awards were the same as in previous editions: Jornal de Notícias, Público and Rádio Renascença.

Some narrative devices are pretty much well established by now, but there’s still no norm. And that won’t be defined by the end product, but by the investment in production processes.

 

 

Google Media Tools: playing with Earth Engine Timelapse

When Google announced their Media Tools page I immediately tried out some of the available features. These two videos were made using Google Earth Engine Timelapse, and they were quite easy and fast to do. Check out the other tools and examples, these can b quite handy for your stories. And the best part, they’re free.

Interactive Radial Calendar – SVG / HTML5 / CSS3 / Javascript

SVG/HTML5/CSS3 project – Acacia longifolia Interactive Phenological Radial Calendar from Alex Gamela on Vimeo.

I’ve experimented recently with ways to create interactive visualizations using HTML5 and CSS3. Starting with a SVG based design, I used HTML/CSS to animate and create transitions for specific items of the visualization. SVG is quite useful, because we can have more control over the design, while establishing classes and id’s for elements that can become alive with CSS3 magic.

check the interactive calendar in English or in Portuguese – works better in Firefox

Here we have the phenological cycle for the Acacia longifolia, one of the most problematic invasive plant species in Portugal. How do I know that? It’s my current job. And like most scientific subjects, data and good visual elements are aplenty. This information and the images were provided by my colleague Cristina Morais, that included this calendar in her PhD thesis presentation.

I love a well designed calendar or any other time related object (I have deadline issues…)because, in spite of time’s linear, progressive motion, it’s also cyclical (…and hamster syndrome as well).  I found some creative, stunning, stylish layouts and the radial stuck with me, since we’re conveying the idea of a cycle, after all. This  here and this one too cleared any doubts.

I had already tried this concept, but this time I wanted to take it a step further. I’m not a designer so I tried my best to make it look not really ugly, and adapted the code from this great tutorial from Codrops, which is one of the best interactive design websites ever. Follow them.

The popup images are activated through a pressbox .js script, placed in the index.html file. Neat and simple.

Even so, my coding skills weren’t enough to create all the actions I wanted, and I failed to make it cross-browser compatible: it only works 100% on Firefox. Chrome and IE do not render the calendar as seen on the video above.

For this project I used Adobe CS6’s Photoshop and Illustrator (which could have been replaced by Inkscape and GIMP, both free powerful alternatives to the Adobe products), and edited a lot of code on Notepad++.

It was an interesting project, and I’m planning to do a few more. If you have any suggestions or ideas send them to me.

Interactive Infographic: Torre dos Clérigos by JN

screenshot.1Jornal de Notícias (JN) built an interactive infographic celebrating the 250th anniversary of the iconic Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Church), in Porto.

They used Flash but it incorporates some navigational devices used with HTML5/CSS3, like vertical scrolling. I got the tip they’re moving into that direction, and sometime soon maybe we’ll see pure HTML/CSS coded interactive narratives.

They incorporated 360º panoramas from the top of the tower and video. It’s simple, cool, I’m not a big fan of their design style but it works pretty well.

JN is one of the few media organizations that consistently create interactive and multimedia narratives in Portugal.

Visual CV / Resume

vizify
click on the image to see my brilliant resume

Here’s a nifty tool to create an appealing visual resume. It’s called Vizify and you can use it for free. All you have to do is connect to your main social networks and tweak the info a bit.

By the way, I’m looking for work in digital/multimedia/interactive contents after the summer, queries are welcome.